SAN DIEGO — Undersheriff Kelly Anne Martinez is in position to become the first female San Diego County sheriff after Republican John Hemmerling conceded to his Democratic opponent, Hemmerling’s team confirmed to FOX 5 Monday.
Martinez told the San Diego Union-Tribune, who first reported the story, that she thanks Hemmerling “for stepping up to run and for his willingness to serve the public.”
“As San Diego’s next Sheriff, I will do everything in my power to keep our community safe and protect everyone the Sheriff’s Department is entrusted to serve,” Martinez said in a statement provided by her campaign.
Hemmerling congratulated Martinez, telling the U-T “the election results are in, and it is clear that Kelly Martinez has won.”
“I congratulate her and wish her strength in the important work ahead to change the culture in the Sheriff’s Department, to reduce violent crime, stop the flood of drugs in the county, and stop the senseless deaths in our jails,” Hemmerling said.
As of Wednesday evening, Martinez had garnered 58.54% of the vote compared to Hemmerling, who had 41.46% of the vote. There were still 15,000 projected outstanding ballots countywide, according to the San Diego County Registrar of Voters.