SAN ANTONIO – Two Democratic candidates for Bexar County sheriff say they've been expecting a runoff all along.
Javier Salazar led early voting results with 43 percent, compared to about 31 percent of the votes for Andy Lopez. A candidate must earn 50 percent of votes in order to avoid a runoff.
Salazar has 23 years experience with the San Antonio Police Department. The former SAPD spokesman said that he decided to run for sheriff due to overwhelming support from family and friends. He believes voters responded well to his vision of cultivating the relationship between the Bexar County Sheriff's Office and the community. The candidate hosted his watch party at Cadillac Bar in downtown San Antonio Tuesday night.
"My plans are to run a clean campaign, like I've been running all along, and just continue to talk to the voters, and let them see what my visions are for the Sheriff's Office and see if it's something that they respond to," Salazar said.
Lopez has 40 years of law enforcement experience and wants to let every sheriff deputy be a peace officer, instead of keeping the two-tiered system that he believes limits detention officers. Lopez said he's against video visitation at the Bexar County jail.
"(I) started with the Sheriff's Office. I went up the ladder and became chief of community relations," Lopez said. "We took a lot of gang members out of the gangs and made them productive citizens."
Should the Democratic sheriff's race go to a runoff, it will take place May 24. Whether Salazar or Lopez wins, they will be running against Republican candidate and current Sheriff Susan Pamerleau.