Incumbent Jim Kaelin Leading In Endorsements In Hot Sheriff’s Race

endorsements-kaelinWhen it comes to the game of endorsements, Sheriff Jim Kaelin is leading the pack … and some of the endorsements may come as a surprise to many considering they come from groups that don’t normally endorse Republican candidates even when they are a popular incumbent.
Kaelin, the incumbent sheriff, has been endorsed by all of the county’s law enforcement associations, against former sheriff Larry Olivarez. He has also received endorsements from the Communications Workers of America, a branch of the AFL-CIO, as well as the Texas Realtors Association.
In addition, who got what endorsements has already generated some controversy even before the endorsement vote was taken. Members of the Nueces County Sheriffs’ Association were angry after Olivarez called the sheriffs’ office corrupt in a debate and published a logo of the Association on his campaign website.
Logos of different groups are often used by political candidates to indicate endorsements from that group.
Olivarez says it was a mistake by his website administrator, but it was a big enough mistake that Sheriff’s Officers Association Jose Gonzales, published a letter asking Olivarez to remove the logo and to apologize for calling employees of the sheriff’s office “corrupt” during a League of Women Voters candidate forum.
Olivarez shot back with a letter published on his website claiming that putting the logo on the website was unintentional and saying his accusation of corruption in the sheriff’s department was “taken out of context” for political reasons and was aimed at management not employees and officers.
Olivarez’ time as sheriff was filled with its own problems including accusations of corruption before he stepped down after serving only a year on his third term to run for county judge, eventually losing to now County Judge Lloyd Neal.
Kaelin picked up his latest endorsement from the Communications Workers of America. The list of his endorsements is continuing to grow. He has been endorsed by the Corpus Christi Police Officers Association, The Nueces County Sheriffs Officers Association, the State Association of the Fraternal Order of Police and Nueces County Realtors Association.
“It means a lot that my fellow officers think I’m doing a good job” said Kaelin when asked about the endorsements.
Kaelin and Olivarez have already been involved in several contentious debates, primarily concerned around charges of blame for substandard conditions at the county jail during Olivarez’ term in office which resulted in the removal of federal prisoners after Olivarez resigned that position.
Olivarez has also been implicated in other controversies, one which lead to the indictment of a Bexar County sheriff, and others involving his work for Mauricio Celis, a case runner once referred to by former District Attorney Carlos Valdez as “the biggest con man in the history of Nueces County.”
Both sides have been critical of each other, but Olivarez has accused Kaelin of getting the county involved in numerous federal lawsuits, not improving the jail and refusing to be transparent, all of which have been denied by Kaelin, who has been referred to as the best sheriff Nueces County “has seen in the last 20 years” by the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.
None of those allegations against Kaelin have been proven and Olivarez has been known to say there are 30 federal lawsuits pending against the sheriff’s office, when the actual number is three.

One Response to Incumbent Jim Kaelin Leading In Endorsements In Hot Sheriff’s Race

  1. Cindy Brockwell says:

    We’ve been in Nueces County less than two years, but I am glad to know that we have a sheriff of Kaelin’s character. I’ll be voting for his re-election.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *