Sheriff Watch: Early Polling Shows Duffy Leading

Barry Jantz Barry Jantz 33 Comments


From my post at the FlashReport

See the press release below and don’t even begin to tell me that aging name ID from the green-and-white-car days doesn’t mean anything.

That said, it’s still significantly early. Name ID can be softened just as significantly with financial resources and momentum.  Appointed Sheriff Bill Gore and former Assemblyman Jay La Suer have plenty of time to pick up both.  Alternatively, Jim Duffy has the same amount of time to try to translate left-over name ID into something that heads off a closing pack.

This race will be way closer than the early polling shows, but this does help spell out for the entire field how to strategize going forward.

Watch for Duffy to continue to capitalize on his family name, while balancing that against his own background and leadership skills, as well as his support by labor groups.

Watch Gore try to springboard on the support of retired Sheriff Bill Kolender, mixing in appointed incumbency and a hopeful perception on the part of the citizenry that all is okay in copland, so why change anything.

Watch for La Suer to continue solidifying his conservative base, damn the unions and the establishment, while emphasizing that problems do exist in the sheriff’s office, and that neither labor nor establishment thinking will fix anything.

Watch Bruce Ruff say that they’re all the problem.

Jim Duffy, Candidate for San Diego County Sheriff, Leads in the Polls

SAN DIEGO – If the election were held today, Jim Duffy, candidate for San Diego County Sheriff, wins, according to a 10News poll conducted by SurveyUSA.

Among likely voters who have made up their minds, Duffy leads over his nearest challenger by 17%, 41% to 24%.

“Voters realize I am the only law enforcement candidate with real and recent experience,” Duffy said.

The Duffy family has been involved in law enforcement in San Diego County for five decades.

“I am encouraged by this support, but understand it is early and will continue to earn the voters’ confidence. Our message of keeping the citizens of San Diego County safe and being fiscally efficient and prudent seems to be resonating,” Duffy continued.

Duffy leads in every demographic category, including race, age, income level, gender, and party affiliation.

Among 403 likely voters, Jim Duffy leads with 24%. Bill Gore and Jay LaSuer trail with 14% each. Bruce Ruff received 5% with 42% undecided.

# # #

UPDATE 7:20 PM — Here’s all the info and data that only a hack and/or a wonk could possibly relish in…

Here Are The Results of SurveyUSA Election Poll #16041

Geography Surveyed: San Diego County
Data Collected: 11/11/2009 – 11/12/2009
Release Date: 11/13/2009 11:45 ET
Sponsor: KGTV-TV San Diego

San Diego County Not Yet Focused on Sheriff’s Election, 7 Months Out: 7 months until San Diego County voters elect a sheriff, even the most likely voters have barely begun to pay attention to the contest, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted exclusively for KGTV-TV. 4 of 10 voters have no preference today. Among voters who do have a preference, Jim Duffy may have a slight early advantage over Bill Gore and Jay LaSuer. Gore’s support is disproportionately Hispanic. LaSuer’s support is disproportionately male. But Duffy’s support is even across the county’s white, Hispanic and Asian populations, is even across young and old, even across rich and poor, even across males and females, and strikingly even across Republicans, Democrats and Independents … conservatives, moderates and liberals.


Filtering: 1,100 San Diego County adults were interviewed by SurveyUSA 11/11/09 and 11/12/09. Of them 928 were registered to vote. Of them, 403 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote in June 2010.


1   Asked of 403 Likely Voters
  Margin of Sampling Error for this question = ± 5%


If the primary for San Diego County Sheriff were today, would you vote for … (choices rotated) Jim Duffy? Bill Gore? Jay LaSuer? Or, Bruce Ruff?


24% Duffy
14% Gore
14% LaSuer
5% Bruce Ruff
42% Undecided


x   Complete Interactive Crosstabs
i   Statement of Methodology
!   © 2009 SurveyUSA / Contractual Obligations

Comments 33

  1. “Watch Bruce Ruff say that they’re all the problem.”

    LOL! Everything else you note was your opinion. The Ruff part is a fact!!

  2. Clearly Ruff is the best of the lot, we don’t hear much about him yet. It is clear that the other guys are politics, we need a cop

  3. No ballot designation listed?

    When voters see “Sheriff” next to Bill Gore’s name it will instantly add 10 points if not more.

  4. I agree that the survey should have anticipated each candidates’ likely ballot designation. Gore is not currently known, and incumbency will help him. One thing: he cannot list himself as Sheriff; at least not that word alone, as he was not elected to the position. His form of incumbency requires the qualifying “Appointed”.

  5. Bruce Ruff is the only candidate running that was ACTUALLY a cop. We need to quit electing politicians to run departments they have no experience with and start promoting our best of the best. It just makes sense.
    Also, he says he’s going to fix the Limburg Field issue which will provide a ton of money for the county.

  6. We need a cop to carry on with the duty, someone who knows the law and has first hand experience. Ruff is the right guy for the job.

  7. I was leaning toward Bejarano. With him out I have no idea yet who I will support.

    What does the Lindbergh Field issue have to do with the Sheriff?

  8. Jay La Suer and Jim Duffy were not “actually” cops? Please do tell. The sheriff has absolutely no power to fix the airport issue, whatever that means, unless he has a magic wand.

  9. Good question. I hope the candidates will weigh in on that one.

    I KNOW first-hand that La Suer 100% believes in the philosophy of “shall issue” and the right of law abiding citizens to carry. I BELIEVE that Ruff takes the same position. I THINK that Duffy has verbalized his stance as being similar, but maybe not in those terms…he would need to confirm as much. I am FAIRLY CERTAIN that Gore’s position is similar to that of Kolender, which is very much “may issue,” limiting significantly the number of allowed permits, although at the Rick Amato East County candidate forum he expressed some confusion over what position via the law the State of California takes on the matter.

    California is of course a “may issue” state, leaving it to local governments, usually the sheriffs’ departments, to determine whether someone has a good enough reason to warrant a CCW (because I want to protect myself because the police can’t be everywhere is usually not a good reason). All cities in San Diego county have given (abrogated?) the right to issue carry permits to the Sheriff, so this issue is important in a sheriff’s race. (And, we all know that criminals brandish their weapons by legitimately applying for a CCW, don’t we? Not.)

    If readers need a primer on the terms, this is good:

  10. Eli Solis and others: Jim Duffy became a San Diego Deputy Sheriff in 1986, thus he is also a “cop”, and a good one at that. Duffy has been a SD Deputy Sheriff for 23 years, and worked for five years prior to that for two other law enforcement organizations as a “cop” (I cannot recall which at this time). I think he is still technically a Lt. Deputy Sheriff on leave to campaign (and has been a Lieutenant for over ten years I think) – thus he is STILL a cop. Bruce Ruff has run many times for Sheriff and to be frank, he is embarassing to watch. During his last campaign for Sheriff he threatened to quit the force if he didn’t win, which is what had to happen as he barely pulled one-quarter of total votes and didn;t even make it past the primary by a long shot. That is very professional and demonstrates his commitment protecting the citizens of this county (yes, please hear the sarcasm there) He is a crazy blowhard and unprofessional and does not understand the needs of the county, or the thousands of deputies he would oversee (regardless of his experience in the department). And, Jay LaSuer, while a dedicated public servant for the majority of his life which is very commendable, is out of touch with the entire county and his past dubious connections to the sheriff department are suspect to say the least. This county needs someone with experience and commitment who can dedicate more than one or two terms, which I personally think is doubful for Gore or LaSuer due to their age. Gore has questionable experience as a cop tuned into the streets and needs of the force, and his bad judgement on a variety of issues, especially his FBI 9/11 , crazy sonic weapon usage and other instances of excessive force worry me. I hope that everyone does their due dilligence to actually learn about the candidates and not just listen to campaign speeches and consultant-written materials. Speak to the candidates, ask questions, get active – the safety of our families depends on it.

  11. Re La Suer’s “dubious connections” to the sheriff’s department: Huh? That doesn’t quite compute. He was in the department for several years, moving up the ranks from deputy to commander to undersheriff, the same position held by Gore prior to his appointment. How is that dubious?

  12. I agree, people need to be informed. So, why the misinformation? If its experience in the department that is important to anyone, ok, fine for them. If so, Jay is the lone candidate that was both a “cop” and held top leadership positions in the department. That may or may not be important to voters, but that’s not dubious. I understand the Ruff partisans putting out crazy stuff like how he will fix the airport, but I hope the more informed commenters stay away from mistatements of fact about backgrounds.

  13. Sadly, too may Republicans think of Jim Duffy as a conservative. Not Hardly!

    While he has a bunch of Republicans on his Facebook page, I doubt mots realize his true political leanings. Duffy has inadvertently made clear that he is the pawn of the the labor unions. He has the enthusiastic endorsement of both the sheriffs’ union, and the SD County labor council.

    The reason for this endorsement becomes clear when one peruses his posted sheriff’s union candidate questionnaire, posted here at

    Duffy scores as the PERFECT labor union candidate — “strongly agreeing” with them on every single issue.

    Well, all but one. He admits to occasionally shopping at (horrors!) Wal-Mart.

    Read the earlier blog by Greg Larkin on this fact:

    I wrote Duffy to confirm the questionnaire was indeed his, and not some clever campaign trick. No answer was forthcoming, which, of course, confirmed the authenticity of the candidate survey.

    I don’t know which candidate I will ultimately support for sheriff, but Duffy is the enemy of efficient government and the handmaiden of the labor unions — and that should remove him from consideration by conservatives.

  14. Jim Duffy heard about the the blog conversation today and emailed to let me know that CCW permits are a good thing in his view. As sheriff he would streamline the process to use private sector ranges and training for permit approval, thus freeing up deputies to do police work. He also indicated he would accept personal protection as valid reason for good cause. (He was on PDA, thus why he didn’t post this comment himself; asking if I could.)


  16. As a lifelong resident of San Diego County, I think that Jim Duffy is clearly the best candidate for the job. He is very personable and has a genuine interest in working with the people of this county, rather than just occupying a seat at Sheriff’s Headquarters. Others evidently agree, as he has won the support of a large cross-section of the community.

    For those who would use his endorsement by the Deputy Sheriffs Association, I would respectfully submit that this in itself is not enough to sway voters. Folks who have never heard of this Association are supporting Duffy’s candidacy in droves.

  17. As a tax payer and San Diego native I am very concerned of the direction of law enforcement in this county has taken. In these hard financial times times, we must all be prudent in the spending of not only tax revenues but our own income. The future of the safety of the entire county is in our hands, the voters. In looking at the candidates for Sheriff, I take an employer point of venue, what does the employee bring to the table? Simply we want the most bang for our buck. Gore, no vision, temporary employee, Lasuer, had his chance, age a concern. Ruff, maybe a place in the organization, but not as the boss. Duffy, appears to be the leading applicant, old enough to understand our concerns , young enough to stick around and be held accountable.

  18. To this SD native, Jay La Suer is the most experienced, most well-rounded candidate for Sheriff….

    (sorry – being Pres of a LEO labor union (Duffy), and overseeing the murder of a mom holding her infant via a head shot (Gore) are NOT qualifying experience – rather they are DIS-qualifications)

    Jay has street-level / hook ’em up LE experience in the Sheriff’s Dept and SDPD, headed numerous sections of the Sheriff’s Dept such as SWAT, and was upper management as Undersheriff.

    Importantly, he also has “big picture” good-government vision that has been honed on the La Mesa City Council and in the CA legislature. This is vital to holding the line on costs and seeking appropriate savings for tax-payers.

    Unfortunately, Bruce Ruff’s commitment to CCWs is not as great as I imagined when I supported him last election, whereas Jay’s pro-CCW bonafides were well documented in the mid-1990s when he and Barry Jantz instigated and voted for La Mesa to start issuing CCWs to average San Diegans.

    Jay La Suer – a Sheriff for all San Diegans….


  19. Let’s decipher the fact of what this article is saying:

    “This race will be way closer than the early polling shows, but this does help spell out for the entire field how to strategize going forward.”

    Let’s get somene in office that has been in acual law enforcement-PLEASE. Thanks Mr. Ruff for what ACTION you have done already in the past and will do once you’re elected.

  20. Duffy? Too liberal for San Diego County (endorsed by Filner? Drove one of his Daddies old green & whites in the pride parade? NO THANKS!). Endorsed by the Unions? Unions have been trashing not only San Diego County but our entire nation for the past 50 years. And this guy is proud of all the union endorsements? Says something. POOR JUDGMENT, owned by the union/special interests. NO THANKS!

    Gore? Hello? Ruby Ridge & 9/11? Need I say More?

    Ruff? This guy is completely 5150! For those of you not affiliated with law enforcement, that means totally flippin’ crazy. He scares me. This guys needs a Costco size dose of Prozac before his public appearances. Makes me wonder if I should step back from the stage every time he gets up to answer a question. The only thing missing from this guy is foaming at the mouth. Who knows, that may begin soon. Why has it not been mentioned this guy had to take 52 weeks of ANGER MANAGEMENT Training while a Deputy? Does anyone feel confident in this? I truly don’t think it took! Come on Escaleto

    La Suer? Experience, knowledge, wisdom and a never-ending supply of doing what it right, no matter what popular opinion may be. Not only that, his integrity factor is off the charts. He does the right thing, even when nobody is looking. Constitutionalist. A true American patriot! Wake up San Diego!

    Barry knows Jay, he ought to , he worked for him for years. Barry is a stand up guy whose intentions are for doing what is right. How could someone like Barry Jantz ever work for a man like La Suer if La Suer were not the genuine deal? He couldn’t! Barry is integrity itself. Integrity cannot work for watered down leadership. Barry is steadfast and strong in his convictions and if Barry would work for La Suer for so long, that holds a TON of weight with me right there. You cannot always judge by what some one says; rather, you can judge by what they do.

    LA SUER! NO OTHER CHOICE! If you are believe in and support our Constitution, you have no other choice than to vote for La Suer! LA SUER if you support the 2nd amendment. La Suer if you want true fiscal responsibility! Tent jails? Heck yes! If Arnold would have erected tent jails, we wouldn’t have over 20,000 dirtbag crooks roaming our streets, parks and neighborhoods. La Suer has it right…if it is good enough for our heroes over in Iraq than it is good enough for the pukes who prey on our County.

    LA SUER for Sheriff! ThanksSDROSTRA for this forum; keep it up! What a fantastic place to express opinions!

  21. The ONLY person to hold fast to his ideals was and is JAY LASUER!!!

    Now, when the hot button issues like the Border, CCW’s etc, the other candidates are stating LaSuer’s positions as their own!!! Jay started as a patrol deputy, swat commander then Undersheriff. His platform of issuing ccw’s to law abiding citizens FOR PERSONAL PROTECTION, ENFORCING IMMIGRATION LAWS AND SHUTTING DOWN OUR LAWLESS BORDER, TENT JAILS are what we need!!! As a Republican Assemblyman, he held stead fast on his principals, setting a record for holding to his word. We have a real choice in this election. Former FBI lackey, Gore, or Duffy. Its unbeleivable that the Deputies Union is supporting Duffy!! He was too good to be one of them, leaving the Sheriff ranks to be a staffer for a politician!!!! Now he wants their support??? The only one that has a track record of protecting us is Jay LaSuer.

  22. “Let’s get somene in office that has been in acual law enforcement-PLEASE”

    Are you posters who are posting this on drugs? The ONLY candicate in this race who hasn’t patroled the streets as a CA peace officer is Gore.

    BTW, I had the odd thought that when Jay La Suer was Commander of the Sheriff’s SWAT team – no mothers holding their infants were (unConstitutionally) shot in the head. Can GORE say that??

  23. If we want a man who has never sold his position, altered his convictions or compromised his character…we will vote for Jay La Suer.

    He served honorably in the U.S.Army Airborne. On the SDPD he was a “motor cop” and also a walking policeman in the toughest part of town. On the Sheriff’s Department he started at the bottom and worked his way to the top spot under the sheriff. On his way he:

    Drove beats
    Commanded a jail
    Served as Captain over the officers in a contract city (Similar to being the chief of police in Poway)
    Trained and commanded the swat team (without the loss of a single member)
    holds a lifetime teaching credential.

    Not other candidate comes even close! He will be the Peoples Sheriff. He will owe no one anything but to do an excellent job as he has always done in the past.

    In his terms as City Councilman and three terms as State Assemblyman he is noted for NEVER having compromised his excellent character for any reason. He will not now!

  24. Interesting. I never figured JIm a worthy opponent. Good lookin kid. Has good political help (folks from Issa campaigns) but mostly a PR flack kinda guy. I mean someday he may have street cred but he needs to get a little seasoning. (Gore has way too much seasoning..Ruby Ridge, 911 etc). Like father like son sounds good but did Pop get a top job out of high school?

    Jay has a proven track record. You could look it up. No Ruby Ridge’s, no 911 crap. Soldier, lawman, legislator (La Mesa and CA Ledge) and a good father and grandpa…sorry but I am partial to folks who take parenting seriously.

    The Joe Arpaio endorsement has value. We need a Sheriff who figures he reports to us and not to a bureacracy.

    Those are both of my two cents, thanks for the forum, jimmyv

  25. Kellena: Wow. Thanks! I am not running for anything, but I appreciate the comments. Where do I send the check? 😉

  26. This Duffy issue is interesting given that many of his neighbors attend County Planning Commission meetings in opposition to his behavior regarding off-roading and other nuisance things that occur on his property much to the dismay of his neighbors, who – as Sheriff – he is bound to serve and respect. He has no more, likely less, respect among fellow law enforcement than La Suer, and a lot less time in service to the community.

    Well if he gets elected, the Planning Commission meetings will get interesting anyway.


  28. Let’s be blunt: Jay was basically put in the state assembly by Baldwin and crew, then turned on them. He couldn’t raise any money in the Assembly (look at his records). Then when Anderson ran Jay’s candidate was annihilated.

    This guy may have an honorable background, but he has some serious character flaws, just like his old boss the sheriff that was bounced out.

  29. Richard Rider is absolutely correct about Duffy. He is Mr Union. One only has to look at any of Duffy’s literature to see the Union roach (symbol) proudly displayed. I wonder if Acorn will help with his campaign? I listened to an interview on The Rick Amato Show, and I heard Duffy say that he is running to the left of Appointed Sheriff Gore! That was an incredible statement from Duffy considering how far to the left Gore stands. I have no doubt that Duffy is a Kolender Klone. Nothing will change. Forget about conceal carry permits and enforcing immigration laws. Gore has stated that San Diego is not a sanctuary county. He is out of touch with reality.

    Before Gore was appointed, I asked a County Supervisor (I will not name names) to please consider appointing a Sheriff that will not run for office. I then asked the same County Supervisor to appoint someone to the caliber of Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The answer was, “the county cannot afford the lawsuits”. Yikes!! So this is the state we are in, we won’t enforce the law because we might get sued! Now that’s leadership!

    About 4 years ago a high ranking un-named person explained to me that Kolender will not resign early. “Kolender will serve his full term and the rumor he will resign early is only a conspiracy theory”. Coincidence the “conspiracy theory” came true. Funny how all the political hacks are lining up behind Gore, “The Appointed Incumbent”. Surprise, surprise.

  30. “I wonder if Acorn will help with his campaign?”

    I certainly defend one’s right to make political satire and vote for the candidate of one’s choice. However, I think that the ACORN reference was a little overboard. While you may disagree with Jim Duffy’s politics, one could certainly never question his honesty, integrity and his sincere desire to serve the citizens of this county. ACORN is a self-serving criminal organization that was in part responsible for the current fiscal nightmare we find ourselves in now.

  31. While the corrupt politics as usual, labor unions, city politics, party establishment, etc. support the others, Jay LaSuer is supported by tried and true, liberty loving and defending patriots.

    Jay is the only one truly qualified for the job. He is the only one to work his way through both the PD and the Sheriff’s department, up to Under Sheriff. He also served in the miltary, and has commanded in all three of those arenas. He is the only one to be elected, and relected by the people to local and state offices…not by labor unions or party politics. He is a man of his word, and his platform is on his website for everyone to see.

    We all know the early retirement of Kolender was a stunt to get Gore onto the ballot as an encumbent. Most of us know about Gore’s terrible track record, the terrible track records and corruption in the city’s establisment, and Gore’s links to all of it. He refuses to admit that we are a sanctuary city, even though we are listed as an un-official sanctuary city on the list by congress. What “un-official” means is that there is no official declaration of sanctuary city status, like there is in Los Angeles, but the lack of enforcement nets the same effect. It’s wink-wink, nod-nod politics as usual that we see with the council and the board, and Gore will perpetuate just that. He has a very bad track record on intelligence and use of force against the people (Ruby Ridge. 9-11 Report, LRAD). He also loves to point and blame the state for the “may issue” status on CCW permits, when it is ultimately the decision of the Sheriff. Does he not know his job or is he lying again?

    Duffy seems like a fairly nice man, but is also too calculating. I tend to be very cautious anyone with strong union ties, and strong union support. Labor unions only exist to perpetuate their own existence and their own power. If they support him, there has to be a reason…and it usually doesn’t fair well for the people.

    Ruff doesn’t have the command experience, and I don’t think he has the temperament either. He’s very outwardly agressive at debates, pounding on the tables. Once he said he had to ask his lawyers before he could answer a 2A/CCW question.

    I’ve been to all but one of the debates so far, and I knew who I would support after the first one. He may not be the most polished, or the best speaker, but Jay LaSuer is the only one on the right side of the issues facing San Diego County, and he is the only man for the job.

  32. I have watched and listened to all of the pro’s and con’s concerning the announced candidates for Sheriff. Although the DSA may have endorsed their candidate, I have learned, while talking to working deputies, that many of them (particularly in East County) support Jay.
    That’s good enough for me.

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