Sheriff’s Lt. Bill Smethers announced his candidacy earlier today to succeed Keith Royal as sheriff, a development that may prompt a serious discussion of marijuana and the law in Nevada County.
Smethers supervised the sheriff’s narcotics task force for several years and was a key player in the dog-and-pony show Royal staged for the Board of Supervisors to get the ill-fated Measure W on the ballot. He even represented the pro-W side in a debate staged by the League of Women Voters.
Strangely, none of this was mentioned in the press release announcing his candidacy that was prepared by Royal’s wife, Jeannette, who will be running the campaign. (Expect the sheriff’s endorsement in the near future.)
The release was particularly light on substance, strange for such an announcement–such press releases usually go into excruciating detail on the candidate’s experience and qualifications for office. At least we now know why Royal declined to endorse either of the other two announced candidates, former Grass Valley police chief John Foster and Sheriff’s Captain Shannan Moon.
Foster and Moon have said they recognize the reality that retail pot will soon be legal in California and have indicated a willingness to find ways to live with it. These are not soothing words for the hard-line anti-plot forces in Nevada County, led by Keith Royal.
The three candidates will face off in next June’s primary election less than six months after retail pot becomes legal in California. I can’t wait to hear the horror stories coming out of the sheriff’s office prior to election day.
AMATEUR MOVE: Public relations professionals will tell you Friday is the best day to release bad news. Newspaper readership is low on Saturday and people are more likely to ignore the news as they pursue other activities. That makes Friday a bad day to announce news you want to circulate as widely as possible, like candidacy for office.