For the first time in 15 years, there will be a new sheriff in Fresno County as current Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims announced her retirement in February.
Two candidates are vying for the position on the June 7 ballot. Alphabetically, they are Fresno Police Department Deputy Chief of Investigations Mark Salazar and Fresno County Assistant Sheriff John Zanoni.
“I am going to be a sheriff that is gonna serve and not be served. I am going to be a sheriff that believes in prevention, intervention, and enforcement,” said Fresno Police Department Deputy Chief of Investigations Mark Salazar.
Salazar has worked for the department for 25 years. One of the founding officers of MAGEC, Salazar is known for working with young people through the Police Activities League and his efforts to reduce violent crime.
Salazar says if he is elected, his top priority will be the jail.
“There is a problem at the jail,” said Salazar. “We cannot continue to blame Sacramento and the laws.”
Salazar says he has the endorsement of the Fresno Sheriff’s Correctional Sergeants Association.
“I know what it takes,” said Fresno County Assistant Sheriff John Zanoni. “I’ll get the job done and a vote for me on June 7 is a vote for better public safety.”
Zanoni has 26 years of experience at the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office. He says his main priorities are advocating in Sacramento for stricter laws, adding dozens of deputies, and implementing new crime-fighting technology.
“People know me, they know my work product, they know what I bring to the table,” said Zanoni.
Zanoni received endorsements from the Sheriff’s Association, District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp, the Fresno County Board of Supervisors, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims, and the support of the 11 of 15 Fresno County police chiefs.