Green Party activist Croteau running for Pima sheriff
Dave Croteau, a former Green Party mayoral candidate and an organizer for Veterans for Peace and Occupy Tucson, announced Wednesday that he will run as Green Party candidate for Pima County Sheriff.
Croteau was to file the paperwork needed to run for the office Wednesday, he said in a news release.
Assuming he's the only Green to run, Croteau would face off in the Nov. 6 election against Democratic incumbent Clarence Dupnik and the winner of the Aug. 28 Republican primary. The GOP candidates are Walter M. Setzer, Chester Manning, Vinson Holck, Mark Napier and Terry Frederick.
Dupnik has served as Pima County sheriff since 1980.
The Green Party candidate listed three planks in his platform: to end the war on drugs and concentrate on crimes against people and property, to work more closely with other law enforcement agencies for county residents and to slow the use of excessive force when carrying out search warrants, and to stop evictions of homeowners until original deeds are verified, he said in the release.
“The ongoing War on Drugs has failed, and it is time to stop fighting it," Croteau said in the release.
"We are criminalizing young men and women for smoking an herb while people are being thrown out of their homes and into the streets by banksters who are unwilling to work with the homeowners to reduce the principal owed on their underwater homes," he said.
"The job of the sheriff is to preserve the peace, and that mission is not being met when for-profit prisons are allowed to set our enforcement agenda,” he said.
Croteau ran for Pima County sheriff in 2000 on a platform of legalization and taxation of marijuana, getting 16 percent of the vote in a race without a Republican candidate. He ran for mayor in 2007, when he got 17 percent of the vote in a race that saw Mayor Bob Walkup without a Democratic opponent.
He failed to qualify for the ballot when he sought a City Council seat in 2009.
Croteau ran for mayor again last year, but lost in the party primary to Mary DeCamp, who represented the Green Party in a general election won by Democrat Jonathan Rothschild.
“I’ve long been interested in how to best serve Tucson and make this a better community,” Croteau said.
“In the current highly polarized political climate, a third-party candidate like me can offer bold new solutions that neither Democrats nor Republicans will advance for fear of alienating the big money interests controlling their political agendas right now," he said.
Croteau, 62, is a lifelong Tucson resident. The Palo Verde High School graduate, who is part Native American, is a Vietnam veteran who owns a house-painting business.