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Candidates Face Off in Race for Orange County Sheriff

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Voters in Orange County are tasked with selecting a new top law enforcement officer Tuesday to replace outgoing Sheriff Sandra Hutchens.

The candidates are Undersheriff Don Barnes and Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office Senior Investigator Duke Nguyen.

Orange County Undersheriff Don Barnes, left, and Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office Senior Investigator Duke Nguyen are facing off in the race to become Orange County Sheriff.

Orange County Undersheriff Don Barnes, left, and Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office Senior Investigator Duke Nguyen are facing off in the race to become Orange County Sheriff.

Hutchens, who is not seeking reelection after 10 years heading the Orange County Sheriff's Department, has endorsed Undersheriff Don Barnes.

"Orange County wants a candidate, wants a sheriff, that is qualified and experienced and that can handle issues when they come up.  And I've demonstrated over the past several years that I am the best person to mitigate those issues and take the department forward," Barnes told KTLA.

But Ngnuyen says a fresh approach is exactly what is needed. He pointed to problems the department has dealt with in recent years, such as the jail snitch scandal and a 2016 jail escape, as reasons to take another route.

"If you stay with the current administration that we have now, we're going to get more scandal," he said. Nguyen said the problems within the department are symptoms of bad management.

Barnes said the issues raised by his opponent are years old. "They've been mitigated," he said.

 

 

 

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