SAN DIEGO – With the California primary election coming up June 7, voters are beginning to prep themselves to step into the voting booth or mail in their ballot.

When it comes to the race for the next San Diego County sheriff, seven candidates are vying to replace Anthony Ray, who was sworn in as interim sheriff in April. The top two vote-getters in the primary election will advance to the November runoff.

Ray has temporarily replaced Bill Gore, who retired in February after 51 years in law enforcement. Ray, who joined San Diego County Sheriff’s Department in 1991, will hold the office until the next sheriff takes the oath of office in January.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is the law enforcement agency for nine contract cities in the region: Del Mar, Encinitas, Imperial Beach, Lemon Grove, Poway, San Marcos, Santee, Solana Beach and Vista. As the department’s chief executive, the sheriff is responsible for the management of seven detention facilities, 21 patrol stations and substations and a crime laboratory.

While voters can find a full list of candidates and races on the ballot by clicking here, below is a list of the seven men and women hoping to become the next sheriff, with links to their campaign websites.

Charles “Chuck” Battle

Retired sheriff’s sergeant

Chuck Battle, candidate for San Diego County Sheriff (Credit: Chuck Battle)

John “Gundo” Gunderson

Police captain

John Gunderson, candidate for San Diego County Sheriff (Credit: John Gunderson)

John Hemmerling

Chief criminal prosecutor

John Hemmerling, candidate for San Diego County Sheriff (Credit: John Hemmerling)

See an interview with Hemmerling below:

Kelly Anne Martinez

San Diego County undersheriff

Kelly Martinez, candidate for San Diego County Sheriff (Credit: Kelly Martinez)

See an interview with Martinez below:

Juan Carlos “Charlie” Mercado

Combat infantry captain

Juan Carlos “Charlie” Mercado, candidate for San Diego County Sheriff (Credit: Juan Carlos Mercado for Sheriff)

Dave Myers

Retired sheriff commander

Dave Myers, candidate for San Diego County Sheriff (Credit: Dave Myers)


Jonathan Peck

Peace officer

Johnathan Peck, candidate for San Diego County Sheriff (Credit: Johnathan Peck for Sheriff)

For more information on other local races in the California June Primary and voting tips, check out our 2022 Election Guide.