In The News

Windsor born-and-raised man running for sheriff

Candidate hopes to change culture of department

Jay Foxworthy, a Santa Rosa resident — but born and raised in Windsor — who has been with the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department for 22 years, is running for Sonoma County sheriff. Although the election is more than a year away, Foxworthy has already kicked off his campaign. The Windsor Times spoke with Foxworthy to learn more about his life in Sonoma County, career experience, goals if elected and favorite ways to spend his free time.

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Once in a Generation

My name is Jay Foxworthy and I'm running for Sonoma County sheriff. I believe it's important that everyone have a better sense of the person behind the badge, especially when that person may be our next sheriff.

I'm a local boy, raised in Windsor, sometimes by my mother, but mostly by my grandparents. Much of my childhood was spent in poverty, living with a mentally ill, self-medicating, addict mother who was often in trouble with the law. During times of her incarceration, I was raised by my grandparents, an aunt and, sometimes, foster parents.

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Santa Rosa to take stronger stance on nuisance crimes associated with homeless population

Santa Rosa City Council members stuck to their plan Tuesday to get tougher on quality-of-life crimes in the city but faced withering criticism from advocates for homeless people who called the move cruel and counterproductive.

While downtown business interests supported the move, critics took the council to task for its plan to resume treating various city laws — including rules against smoking, drinking and urinating in public, and aggressive panhandling — as misdemeanors punishable by higher fines and jail time.

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Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office cuts gang, drug and community policing units

In the face of a $5.5 million budget shortfall, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office has axed its narcotics, gang and community policing units while eliminating 21 unfilled positions — moves expected to limit the depth of some investigations and community outreach.

While the cuts will put full-time detectives and community-oriented deputies back onto the street for patrol duty, Assistant Sheriff Rob Giordano said day-to-day operations will remain the same.

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Political Notebook: Gay man runs to be Sonoma County sheriff

A gay man who is a deputy sheriff in San Francisco is running to become the next sheriff of Sonoma County, which includes the gay Russian River resort area.

Santa Rosa resident Jay Foxworthy , 46, publicly announced his candidacy from the main stage of Sonoma County Pride in early June. He held his first fundraising event with family and friends Friday, July 14, and also recently went live with his campaign website.

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"I don’t believe any human being is illegal." Jay Foxworthy, Candidate for Sonoma County Sheriff

“I don’t believe any human is illegal.”

The quote, taken from Mr. Foxworthy’s mission statement, struck me as equally lyrical and revealing, as it underscored an insight into the role of language in dissociating persons from their own humanity and thereby forging the lack of empathy that fixes the basis for abuses in all forms. The more I read about Mr. Foxworthy, the more I was impressed.

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PD Editorial: As he exits, Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas says let voters choose

Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas included a commendable request in his retirement announcement this week.

Freitas, who is stepping down 17 months early due to undisclosed health issues, asked the Board of Supervisors to appoint Rob Giordano to run the 650-employee department until a new sheriff is elected next year.

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Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas announces early retirement

Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas announced Thursday he will retire by next month, saying health concerns are forcing him to step down earlier than planned from his post leading the county’s largest law enforcement agency.

The announcement comes about four months after Freitas, 54, said he would not seek a third term next year as sheriff, opening up a race for the office that has grown to include at least six candidates, a stark contrast with the past two decades of uncontested elections for sheriff in Sonoma County.

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Rad dads: Four families’ paths to parenthood

Father’s Day, like other holidays, is awfully programmed and commercialized, with greeting cards substituting for spoken words and department stores urging us to express our affection for the millions of dads across America through shaving kits, socks and other gifts. But fathers, like families, come in all shapes and sizes, and the holiday means different things to different people. This year, Style peeked into four unique households — families with gay dads — to find out what led them down the path of parenthood, and to learn how their children feel about same-sex households.

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Race for Sonoma County sheriff begins as up to six contenders vie for endorsements

Five law enforcement veterans have declared their interest in becoming Sonoma County’s next sheriff to rank-and-file deputies, a sign of the extraordinary political jockeying now happening for an elected post that has not had a contested race in more than 25 years.

In uniforms and plainclothes, about 80 Sonoma County Deputy Sheriff’s Association members packed a union hall earlier this month in northwest Santa Rosa to hear from the prospective candidates at a standing-room-only meeting unlike any other in the group’s recent history.

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Race for Sonoma County sheriff begins as up to six contenders vie for endorsements

For the first time in nearly three decades, Sonoma County voters may have an opportunity to decide among a field of candidates running to be the next sheriff.

Ernesto Olivares, a former police lieutenant in Santa Rosa and current City Council member, has announced he will run for the county’s top sworn law enforcement post, a job held since 2011 by Steve Freitas, who rose to the office as an assistant sheriff and Windsor’s police chief. Freitas plans to step down at the end of 2018.

At least two Sheriff’s Office veterans, Capt. Mark Essick and Windsor Police Chief Carlos Basurto, have said they are considering a bid for the post, with plans to meet with advisers and decide over the next several weeks.

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Jay's conversation with our community about the needs of our Sheriff’s office continues every day. You can support Jay’s efforts by joining the campaign and donating today!