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Napier says he won't seek 3rd term if re-elected as Pima sheriff

Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier said Friday that he wants to be re-elected, but would not seek another term in 2024 if he's successful in holding on to his seat.

The Republican, now in his first term, faces a potential rematch of the 2016 election, with a former Democratic sheriff, Chris Nanos, announcing that he's seeking the office.

Napier framed his appearances on local radio shows on Friday as an "announcement" of his re-election bid, but he had publicly stated several times last year that he was running again. Napier updated his campaign social media pages in December, prepping for his 2020 campaign.

Interviewed by TucsonSentinel.com's Dylan Smith and Sarah Gassen of the Arizona Daily Star on the Buckmaster Show on KVOI on Friday afternoon, Napier reiterated that he was running again, and stated that he couldn't foresee running for a third term if he is returned to office.

Napier said he still has projects at the Pima County Sheriff's Department that are unfinished.

He discounted recent "no confidence" votes by organizations of PCSD employees, saying they only represent a minority of employees, and that previous sheriffs have also been the subject of such moves as deputies and other employee groups push for higher wages.

Nanos announced last month that he would try to regain the seat to which he was appointed in 2015, after Clarence Dupnik, in office since 1980, stepped down.

Napier, who had come up short in a 2012 challenge to Dupnik, carried the '16 election against Nanos, 56-44 percent.

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The primary election to determine the Republican and Democratic candidates will be Aug. 4.

Also announced as a candidate on the Democratic side is Sgt. Kevin Kubitsky, a 20-year PCSD veteran who's been involved in the Deputy Sheriff's Association, the union for Pima deputies.

Also filing to indicate interest in the post have been:

  • Trista DiGenova Chang, a Democrat who has also filed to be a Board of Supervisors candidate
  • Louis Pimber, a Republican who is an ex-police officer and an actor
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Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.com

Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier speaks to the Board of Supervisors in support of Operation Stonegarden in February 2018.