Tyler Kamp becomes first Democrat to enter 2024 race for Maricopa County sheriff

Jan 26, 2024, 8:00 PM

Tyler Kamp, a 2024 candidate for Maricopa County sheriff, stands in front a brick building with his...

Democrat Tyler Kamp announced Friday, Jan. 26, 2024, he is running for Maricopa County sheriff. (Photo via Maricopa County Democratic Party)

(Photo via Maricopa County Democratic Party)

PHOENIX — The first Democrat has entered the 2024 race for Maricopa County sheriff.

The Maricopa County Democratic Party announced Friday that Tyler Kamp, who spent more than 20 years with the Phoenix Police Department, filed his paperwork for the 2024 primary.

Kamp is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Democrat Paul Penzone, who resigned this month with a year left in his term to take a community relations job with Blue Cross Blue Shield.

“I want to build on the successes of Sheriff Penzone and continue to move the MCSO forward with integrity, accountability and effective policing that ensures a safe Maricopa County for all,” Kamp said in a press release.

Phoenix city councilman joins Tyler Kamp’s campaign

Kamp’s tenure with the Phoenix Police Department included time as a shift commander, gang enforcement sergeant and homicide detective, according to the release.

Phoenix City Councilman Kevin Robinson, another Phoenix Police alum, is serving as Kamp’s campaign chair.

“I have known Tyler for many years, going back to our time working in law enforcement together. He will bring extensive law enforcement and management experience to the role, and ensure a leadership grounded in integrity, accountability and a deep commitment to serving the community,” Robinson said in the release.

Three Republican sheriff hopefuls previously filed statements of interest for the 2024 election, including 2020 nominee Jerry Sheridan. Mike Crawford and Joel Paul Franklin Ellis also submitted their paperwork.

What is known about search for interim Maricopa County sheriff?

Kamp is not among the candidates who applied to step in as interim sheriff following Penzone’s Jan. 12 departure.

Although the interim sheriff must be a registered Democrat like Penzone under state law, at least half of the applicants have Republican backgrounds.

Chief Deputy Sheriff Russ Skinner, one of the interim applicants, has been serving as acting sheriff, as prescribed by state law, since Penzone’s departure.

Skinner and two other applicants changed their party registrations from Republican to Democrat in the time since Penzone announced his intention to step down in October 2023, according to an Arizona Republic report. Kenneth Booker, a former MCSO deputy chief, and Jeffrey Kirkham, who has worked as an Apache Junction police commander and Nogales police chief, are the others who reportedly made the switch.

In addition, Dan Saban, a private security executive and former Buckeye police chief, ran for sheriff unsuccessfully three times, twice as a Republican (2004 and 2016) and in 2008 as a Democrat.

None of the other four interim candidates have upper-level law enforcement experience.

  • Scott Meyer has experience with MCSO as a detention sergeant.
  • Patrick Valenzuela is a lieutenant with the Glendale Police Department.
  • Brandon Otis is an officer with the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry.
  • Grant Harrison is a project management assistant for the Phoenix Office of Homeless Solution.

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors will select an interim sheriff after conducting interviews, but there is no timetable for how long the hiring process will take.

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Tyler Kamp becomes first Democrat to enter 2024 race for Maricopa County sheriff