It was a political campaign many people were looking forward to: a re-match between Sheriff Pat Hedges and former SLO police chief Jim Gardiner, battling again for the top cop spot in the land. But it was not to be, because Gardiner decided to drop from the race last week after he again failed to get the endorsement of the Deputy Sheriffâ€™s Association, an action that many say caused his defeat the first time the pair faced-off in 1998.
In a prepared statement, attached to his campaign plan, Gardiner said, â€œI would only actively campaign only if I had the backing of the Deputy Sheriffâ€™s Association. I am disappointed that the DSA has voted to back Sheriff Hedges.â€? In response, Hedges told New Times, â€œI believe it was appropriate because he based his campaign on just the support of the DSA.â€?
Gardiner said he was called to serve because many members of the department wanted him to. Gardinerâ€™s name will remain on the ballot because he had to file before the DSA vote. Hedges says for that reason he will continue to aggressively campaign. â€œItâ€™s the people who vote, despite any endorsement.â€? âˆ†