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San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore announces retirement and will step down Feb 3

Gore was appointed Sheriff in 2009 by the Board of Supervisors and elected to that position three times by the citizens of San Diego County.

SAN DIEGO — San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore announced Wednesday that he plans to retire next month, nearly a year before the end of his fourth term in the post. Gore, who announced last summer that he would not seek re-election this year, said he'll step down Feb. 3. 

Gore has a 51-year long career in law enforcement, that began in 1970 with the Federal Bureau of Investigation where he rose to the rank of Assistant Director in Washington, D.C. and also served as the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI field offices in San Diego and Seattle.

After 32 years with the FBI, he retired and worked for one year as the Chief Investigator and Special Advisor to newly elected San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. 

In 2004, then-Sheriff Bill Kolender appointed him as the Assistant Sheriff overseeing the Law Enforcement Services Bureau and in 2006, he was appointed as the Undersheriff, overseeing the Sheriff's Department's daily operations. 

Gore, 74, was appointed sheriff in 2009 by the Board of Supervisors and elected to that position three times by the citizens of San Diego County.

Sheriff Gore issued the following statement:

"Serving as your Sheriff for the last 12 years has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my law enforcement career. I will always be grateful to the residents of this county for their continued confidence and support during my tenure. It has also been my honor to have had the daily support from the extraordinary men and women of this department who sacrifice every day for the citizens of San Diego County.

Likewise, my wife has made many sacrifices in support of my career, including nine moves around the country and the challenges involved in three county-wide elections. In retirement, I will have the opportunity to give my full attention and support to her as she has done for me during our 43 years of marriage.

I have been truly blessed to have had a long career in public safety surrounded by some of the finest professionals in this country. I am also grateful for the many friendships I have developed in San Diego and around the country. I look forward to many wonderful years with those friends and my family."

Nathan Fletcher, Chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, will call a special meeting of the Supervisors in March, after the election filing deadline, to consider an Interim Sheriff to serve the remainder of Sheriff Bill Gore’s term.

“The voters are poised to make a very consequential decision on who they want to be our next Sheriff, and it would be inappropriate for us to put our thumb on the scale this close to the election by appointing a person who is a candidate for Sheriff,” said Chair Fletcher. 

Officially seeking the post so far in the run-up to the election are Undersheriff Kelly Martinez, former sheriff's Cmdr. David Myers, Assistant City Attorney John Hemerling and sheriff's Deputy Kenneth Newsom.

Undersheriff Martinez, the second in command for the San Diego Sheriff’s Department said Wednesday that she won’t seek the appointment from the board of supervisors.

“The people of San Diego deserve a fair race for Sheriff as well as an appointment process they can trust,” Martinez said. "I’ll work hard to earn the support of San Diego County voters who want a Sheriff with experience and commitment to public safety.”

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