Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to interview 3 candidates for interim sheriff position

Feb 5, 2024, 4:18 PM | Updated: Feb 7, 2024, 11:12 am

A man died after a motorcycle crash early Sunday morning in Desert View Village. (MCSO Photo)

(MCSO Photo)

PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is set to interview three candidates on Tuesday for the role of interim sheriff.

Jeffrey Kirkham, Patrick Valenzuela and Russ Skinner will all be interviewed as the county seeks to replace the departed Paul Penzone until the November election.

The list of possible candidates was whittled down from eight to three after the county opened the application period for 10 days, ending Jan. 19.

“I would like to thank everyone who took the time to submit an application for this important position,” Chairman Jack Sellers said in a press release. “The board is considering these three applicants because of their extensive law enforcement backgrounds and commitment to public safety.”

The Board of Supervisors announced Wednesday it will make the appointment Thursday during a livestreamed meeting that starts at 11 a.m.

Who are the candidates being interviewed for interim Maricopa County sheriff?

Skinner has been serving as acting sheriff, as prescribed by state law, since Penzone’s resignation went into effect Jan. 12.

Kirkham has worked as an Apache Junction police commander and Nogales police chief.

Valenzuela serves as a lieutenant with the Glendale Police Department.

Skinner and Kirkham 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.

Candidates for the interim position are required to live in the county and be from the same party as Penzone, a Democrat, per state law. Penzone departed with a year left in his term to take a community relations job with Blue Cross Blue Shield.

“During the interview process, the board hopes to learn more about their visions for serving the residents of Maricopa County,” Sellers said.

Who is running to be metro Phoenix sheriff in November?

Three Republicans have filed statements of interest to run for sheriff in this year’s election, including 2020 nominee Jerry Sheridan. Mike Crawford and Joel Paul Franklin Ellis also submitted their paperwork.

Tyler Kamp, who spent more than 20 years with the Phoenix Police Department, filed his paperwork as a Democrat for the 2024 primary last week.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News


KTAR Video

Video: How giving to area food banks has a direct impact on Arizona children

Food Bank Fridays continues with Outspoken with Bruce and Gaydos. The guys up their goal, receive a donation from the Tunderbirds and hear the direct impact donations have on children in Arizona. Video: Jeremy Schnell and Felisa Cárdenas/KTAR News

39 minutes ago

Four suspects were arrested for in connection with a fatal drive-by shooting that occurred earlier ...

Associated Press

4 suspects arrested in fatal drive-by shooting of University of Arizona student

Four suspects including three teens have been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of a UArizona student at an off-campus party.

41 minutes ago


KTAR Video

Video: What makes Arizona roads so dangerous?

New numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows Arizona as one of the most dangerous states for deadly crashes involving red-light runners. Chris & Joe dive deeper into what could be the leading cause behind the newly released stats. Video: Jeremy Schnell and Felisa Cárdenas/KTAR News

1 hour ago

Thousands lost power in the Valley on June 21, 2024. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)...

Danny Shapiro

Thousands lose power in metro Phoenix on hottest day of year

Thousands of customers in metro Phoenix were without power on Friday afternoon, the hottest day of the year to date.

2 hours ago

Four Glendale children were hospitalized after they were found to be living in poor conditions duri...

4 Glendale children hospitalized after being found in poor living conditions

Four Glendale children were hospitalized after they were found to be living in poor conditions during a separate investigation, authorities said Friday.

3 hours ago


KTAR Video

Video: KTAR News’ 2024 Mid-Year Movie Draft

If you’re looking for good movies to watch halfway into 2024, KTAR News film critics Brandon King and Damon Allred draft their top five picks of flicks you shouldn’t skip. Video: Jeremy Schnell and Felisa Cárdenas/KTAR News

3 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.



Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to interview 3 candidates for interim sheriff position