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Brad Fincher, adult probation officer, announces candidacy for San Juan County sheriff | Election 2010

Brad Fincher, his wife Debra, and their sons Zachariah and Luke. Fincher, the adult probation officer for San Juan County, is running for San Juan County sheriff. - Brad Fincher
Brad Fincher, his wife Debra, and their sons Zachariah and Luke. Fincher, the adult probation officer for San Juan County, is running for San Juan County sheriff.
— image credit: Brad Fincher

Brad Fincher, adult probation officer for San Juan County, has announced his candidacy for San Juan County sheriff.

Fincher's announcement, on the final day of the candidate filing period for the Aug. 17 primary and Nov. 2 general election, brings the field of candidates for sheriff to four. The others are Lead Detective Brent Johnson, Deputy Felix Menjivar, and Deputy Rob Nou.

The sheriff earns $97,514 a year and manages a staff of 36 full-time employees and a budget of $2.3 million, which includes: $719,219, dispatch; $472,888, Enhanced E-911; $398,920, jail; and $209,615, Emergency Management.

The two top vote-getters in the Aug. 17 primary will advance to the Nov. 2 general election.

Fincher made this announcement this morning:

My name is Brad Fincher and I am excited to announce that I am running for sheriff of San Juan County.

I am currently the Adult Probation Officer for San Juan County. Sheriff Bill Cumming hired me in 1999 to set-up and manage the Work Crew Program as the coordinator. Over the years, this innovative program has successfully saved the county nearly a million dollars in jail costs while providing a huge benefit in community service to all of the islands. Currently, I manage over 100 offenders for the court by monitoring their conditions, providing resources, and holding them accountable to the community.

I have a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of North Texas. I was awarded the Probation Officer of the Year for the State of Washington in 2008.

At one time, Sheriff Cumming mentioned to me he was a probation officer prior to being elected 24 years ago. Since then, I have had the ambition to be the next sheriff. When Bill announced his retirement, I saw this as my opportunity to serve my community.

My biggest concern for our community is the abuse of alcohol and drugs in the islands especially by youth and young adults. My vision for the future is a community that works together with the Sheriff’s Office to cut off the sources of illegal drugs and educate our families about alcohol use and prescription drug abuse.

Do not assume my lack of “law enforcement” experience is an issue. I have successfully managed over 1,000 people in the last 10 years. My philosophy is to lead by example. I build relationships by listening, validating others and mutual respect.

I have been involved in the county budget process for years. I will make sure the Sheriff’s Office budget continues to support the staff and equipment needed to keep this county safe and secure. Managing the county’s resources is a priority for me.

These islands are my community. My wife and I moved here in 1997 to put down roots. My wife Debbi and I have been married for 17 years and we have two sons, Zach is 10 and Luke is 6. This is one of the safest places I can think of to raise a child. I want to keep it that way.

I am the chairman of the San Juan Island Prevention Coalition and have been a member since its inception in 2003. I have also been a member/chair of the San Juan County Fair Board for nine years. I volunteered on the Sheriff’s Office Dive Rescue Team for three years. I enjoy coaching my son’s basketball team and am a member of the Friday Harbor Presbyterian Church.

I’m committed to this community. The uniqueness of our islands requires a unique individual to be your next sheriff. I am that individual. I am asking for your support and vote.

When I’m sheriff, I will visit each major island and hold a community meeting to listen to your ideas and suggestions. Together, we can build on the solid foundation that has been established by many committed islanders. I need your vote to fulfill this vision.

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