Updated 4:50 p.m. to include campaign finance information.
The labor union representing sheriff’s deputies has endorsed Imperial Beach City Council incumbents Jim King and Brian Bilbray because “they both have strong ties to IB and are supportive of public safety.”
So says Lt. Hank Turner, a member of the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association of San Diego County who worked at what was then the IB station from 2004 to 2006.
Since the beginning of the month, the organization's Political Action Committee (PAC) has spent more than $13,000 on signs and mailers championing their pick for IB City Council, or three times more than the candidates have amassed.
According to financial disclosure documents filed last week, King and Bilbray's campaigns have pulled together about $4,000 since the start of the year.
King and Bilbray seek re-election against challengers Bobby Patton, Erika Lowery, Valerie Acevez and write-in Ron Moody in the Nov. 6 election.
An endorsement was reached following an interview with candidates and deputies at the IB substation, Turner said.
There is no litmus test, Turner said, but candidates were asked questions like what are their priorities and where they stand on public safety issues.
"One of the issues for us that we really struggle with is the dispensary issue," Turner said. "They don't have to be opposed to them, but the specific example is, speaking strictly for the deputies association, we're not opposed to medical marijuana, but we are opposed to the way it's being done as people selling medical marijuana as basically drug dealers."
In a candidate forum held last month, Jim King said he opposes Proposition S. Brian Bilbray declined to state whether he plans to vote yes or no, but did sign the petition which eventually put the Safe Access Ordinance of Imperial Beach on the ballot.
Candidates approached the deputy sheriff's to seek their endorsement, Turner said, and no other IB City Council candidates sought the DSASD's endorsement.
The Imperial Beach Fire Fighters Association, Local 4692 does not endorse candidates, said president Craig Weaver.