Candidates for Cameron County sheriff agree on need for change
In Cameron County, the two men running for sheriff agree on one thing: The Cameron County Sheriff's Office needs change.
Former Indian Lake police Chief John Chambers, the Republican candidate, said deputies need to build positive relationships with members of the community they serve.
"One thing I want to do is get the officers out of their patrol cars, get them to take off their glasses, interact with the public, roll their windows down, get out and play catch with the kids," Chambers said. "Just interact in a positive way so that you start building those relationships."
Before he became police chief, Chambers served as a deputy sheriff, corrections officer and jailer.
In January 2016, though, Chambers was convicted on 16 counts of tampering with governmental records. Chambers appealed the conviction. The charges were downgraded from felonies to misdemeanors.
Chambers is running against former Cameron County District Clerk Eric Garza, who defeated incumbent Sheriff Omar Lucio in the Democratic Party primary.
"I know there was a need for a sheriff who was more involved with the community, who made sure that the jail was in compliance, that the deputies had the equipment they needed," Garza said. "And that was the basis for running for sheriff."
Garza said his experience as district clerk will help him manage the $31 million Sheriff's Office budget. Garza also emphasized that, unlike Chambers, he has never been arrested.
Early voting ends Oct. 30. Election Day is Nov. 3.
Editor's Note: Channel 5 News filed a lawsuit against John Chambers in mid-October, accusing him of using Channel 5 News video without permission.
No one involved with the lawsuit had any involvement in the writing, editing or reporting of this news story.