After announcing his intention to run in the already-contentious SLO County Sheriff’s race in June, one candidate will make an unprecedented pledge regarding his salary.
According to an assistant with his campaign, retired California Highway Patrol Sergeant Michael “Tex” Teixeira will announce at a press conference that, if elected, he would donate 20 percent of his salary to combat gang activity in the county.
The announcement was set to come at a noon campaign kick-off in the lobby of the SLO County Government Center on Oct. 1.
“I think he’s the first candidate to really step up and offer something different,” said Cal Gunther, an assistant to Teixeira’s campaign and friend of more than 25 years. “I’ve never seen anybody willing to give up a significant amount of their own salary to really help get things done in the community.”
According to the candidate, the portion of his salary would be donated to gang diversion programs and local community organizations that provide teens and young adults healthy alternatives to gang involvement.
Teixeira, a Morro Bay-native, is a 36-year veteran of the CHP, with 28 of those years spent in supervisory roles as a sergeant. He spent 30 years working in Los Angeles County and recently retired from the Paso Robles fixed-wing unit of the CHP.
While he admitted some residents might have concerns regarding a longtime sergeant running for sheriff, he pointed out that in his long career he was put into positions where he worked in command-level operations.
Teixeira told New Times he’s alarmed by the growing gang problems in the county.
“One of the things I learned from my time in Los Angeles is that once gangs get entrenched in a neighborhood, it takes T.N.T. to get them out,” he said. “When I talk to people around the county, I can see they are concerned with the gang activity they see around them. I think it’s important we provide alternatives before gangs get a foothold.”
Teixeira also planned for regular public forums to increase department transparency.
With more than seven months to go before the actual election, the race is already crowded. Other candidates for the position include SLO Police Captain Ian Parkinson, Sheriff’s Deputy Mark J. Adams, former SLO Police lieutenant and county supervisor Jerry Lenthall, former Pismo Beach police chief Joe Cortez, Sheriff’s Department Commander Ben Hall, and entertainment broker Kevin Faircourt.