Pima County Sheriff Race: Nanos Reacts to Napier’s Concession

Sheriff-Elect Nanos says trust, reform, listening top priorities
Published: Nov. 16, 2020 at 8:11 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) -He said he would wait until the ballots were counted. Now that they are and Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier is conceding the race to hold on to his office.

In the final tally, Sheriff Napier lost to challenger and former Sheriff Chris Nanos by about 3,400 votes. Nanos was appointed to sheriff in 2015, after the retirement of Clarence Dupnik, but went on to lose to Napier in the 2016 election.

In a statement today, Napier wrote, “I have not made a statement before now not out of a desire to be difficult, obstinate or acrimonious. Rather, it was out of an abiding respect for the process and for the sanctity of every vote ... In addition to my duties as Sheriff, it will now be my duty to ensure the orderly and efficient transfer of leadership of the department to Sheriff-elect Nanos. Honor, character and the dignity of the office require nothing less of me.”

KOLD’s Brooke Wagner talked with Nanos about the concession.

“I’ve been in Mark’s shoes. I know exactly what he’s going through,” Nanos said. “He has every right to wait til the last ballot is counted.”

But now that it has been, Nanos' real work begins.

“I see it as a genesis - awakening for law enforcement to have some introspect," Nanos said.

The sheriff-elect is talking about reform, which he says was the key to the election. So his first priorities are to listen - and earn trust. But also, to get some answers about body cameras. Pima County Deputies don’t yet have them, something that came up during this contentious campaign.

“Day one, I’ll be talking to our finance department about how it impacts our budget, because right now, from what I’ve seen in research, it’s a small percentage. But I’ll wait to hear from others,” Nanos said.

Nanos also plans to get different perspectives on the best way to handle mental health calls.

Most of all, he says he’s “elated” and ready to get started.

“I will take some of the blame for the ugliness of this campaign. I guess that best I can say is that I never professed to be a politician. I still don’t like dealing with the politics. But the bottom line is, I’m a good cop, and I deserve the chance to show this community what I can do," said Nanos.

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