August 23, 2012
Ray Van Buskirk
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Van Buskirk, Jones disagree sharply with Republican rivals, only rarely with each other
Democratic candidates for the job of Gila County Sheriff Ray Van Buskirk and Craig Jones have taken nearly opposite policy viewpoints over their Republican challengers Darrell Stubbs and Adam Shepherd – but disagree with one another about very little.
Home values fall, as property taxes rise. You call the sheriff and no one shows up for an hour. The Arizona Legislature balances its budget — but cuts $2 billion from schools. Residents of northern Gila County pay 70 percent of the taxes, but must drive to Globe to get basic services.
Hotly contested primaries involving law enforcement veterans will set up a general election showdown
The hard-fought, intensely competitive race for Gila County sheriff revolves around a gang of controversies — including the troubled construction of a women’s jail in Globe two years overdue, increased jail overcrowding and questions of officer morale. So far, four former law enforcement officers are running for the seat, hoping to take over the top law enforcement office in the county from outgoing, longtime Sheriff John Armer.