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Meet the candidates for Orange County Sheriff

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With incumbent Sheriff Sandra Hutchens retiring after her current term ends, the race is on for who will be next to hold the position of top cop at the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, the fifth-largest sheriff’s department in the country with 3,800 sworn and civilian employees.

Three long-time lawmen have thrown their hats into the ring for the job -- current Orange County Undersheriff Don Barnes, Aliso Viejo Mayor Dave Harrington, who is a former Sergeant with OCSD, and Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office Investigator Duke Nguyen, who was formerly a police officer for the city of Santa Ana. The three men all boast over 20 years of law enforcement, and all have spent a considerable number of those years in the OC.

Whichever candidate voters select will have plenty to keep him busy from the get-go. Issues like controlling expanding homeless encampments and the jailhouse informant scandal will certainly be top-of-mind, but the new OC Sheriff will also have to contend with issues like a ballooning budget, an opioid crisis affecting counties nationwide, and how much the department is willing to cooperate with federal immigration officials.

The three candidates join Larry on AirTalk to talk about why they’re running for the office, what they’ll bring to the position, and their takes on some of the major issues facing Orange County law enforcement officials.

Ready for Election Day? Get up to speed on what you need to know with KPCC’s Voter Game Plan. Read up on the candidates and ballot measures, find out about registration deadlines and ask us your questions.


Don Barnes, Orange County Undersheriff and candidate for Orange County Sheriff

Dave Harrington, mayor of the city of Aliso Viejo and candidate for Orange County Sheriff

Duke Nguyen, investigator for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office and candidate for Orange County Sheriff