Two men have now entered the race to be the next Deschutes County Sheriff. Central Oregon Daily caught up with both candidates Thursday to learn what they want voters to know about their campaigns.
Sgt. Kent Vander Kamp, who leads the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement team as a detective, filed on Wednesday.
“I think there’s been some years of mismanagement that could have done better,” Vander Kamp said.
He says errors under Sheriff Shane Nelson has cost taxpayers. He believes now is the time for change.
“There’s always opportunities to improve and I think that those are the things I want to do is bring that public trust back and transparency back to the sheriff’s office,” he said. “We’ve had a rough seven years, and it’s time that we bring some fresh eyes into the scene and try some new things.”
Captain William Bailey announced his candidacy back in July. He says the sheriff’s office is doing a lot of things right.
“We’ve come a long way in the 23 years I’ve been there. We’ve had challenges. We’ve had setbacks,” he said. “But I walk through the building every day and what I hear is a very happy and healthy Sheriff’s office. I think we’re on the right course.”
Nelson has endorsed Bailey for the position.
“It’s an exciting time in Deschutes County,” Vander Kamp said. “For the first time in a long time, Deschutes County voters get to choose their next sheriff based on their education, their experience, their leadership, and their depth of knowledge that best represents them as a voter.”
Nelson plans to serve through the end of his term in January 2025. Voters will decide in November 2024 who will take over the position.