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.

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