Trio of top cop candidates featuring different campaigns
An aggressive social media campaign has considerably upped Paul Schrader’s chances of gaining recognition and support in his efforts to be San Bernardino County’s next sheriff.
The 27-year law enforcement veteran works for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and lives in Fontana. He is joining local sheriff’s Deputy Mark Averbeck in challenging Sheriff Rod Hoops, who was appointed 14 months ago to finish his predecessor’s term.
In a throwback to President Obama’s successful campaign, Schrader is using Facebook, MySpace, Twitter YouTube and a blog to directly connect with thousands of voters.
“I thought this is the best way to get my information out and to do it with the least cost to the people that are
supporting me,” he said. “People have started recognizing me from the videos. I’m getting my face and picture out. My phone is constantly ringing.”
Schrader’s cell phone is blowing up because he reads the number in every video he makes and posts it on almost all campaign materials. He has promised to keep the same number if he is elected so the community has a link to the county’s top cop.
Schrader is peddling a “fresh start” promise, vowing to improve transparency of the Sheriff’s Department, issue concealed weapons permits to all who meet the minimum requirements and work toward finding solutions for homelessness.
Although he is relying on social media to spread the word of his candidacy, Schrader said he is still knocking on doors and trying to raise money to see him through to the June 8 election.
His campaign coffers hold only $217 but Schrader has received nearly $4,000 in contributions between January and March, according to campaign disclosure statements. Most are smaller checks from everyday residents.
The big bucks are clearly being funneled into Hoops’ campaign, which boasts several large checks from political action committees. He currently has $58,451 on hand.
as the incumbent, has an advantage over his challengers and has not spent as much time campaigning.
His Web site features a lengthy list of endorsers, a biography and a handful of stories related to things he has done as Sheriff. No contact information is listed.
“I haven’t went out to a lot of neighborhoods because the job itself is keeping me really busy,” Hoops said, adding that he has spoken to several community groups. “But there will be a pretty aggressive sign campaign countywide.”
He said he is confident that his experience and the great work being done at the Sheriff’s Department will convince voters that he should remain in the position.
“If they take a look at the qualifications and proven track
record of all three candidates, I think it’s an obvious choice who the best candidate is,” Hoops said.
The most important issue to him is the budget. He claims to have returned $5 million to the county’s general fund last year while still maintaining top-of-the-line public safety patrols.
Averbeck, who has spent 17 years as a patrol officer, is taking a traditional line for campaigning.
He has handed out 10,000 fliers and is printing up more. He aims to knock on about 100 doors on days he is not tied up with work and family.
“I’ve been doing this pretty much on my own,” Averbeck said. “I don’t have the big financial backing that the appointed sheriff has but what I do have is a lot of heart and desire.”
His campaign received three contributions from residents between January and March totaling $1,229, according to campaign disclosure statements.
He has dabbled with social media, reaching out to Facebook friends and posting three YouTube videos. Averbeck also sends mass text messages pleading with friends to help him spread the word about the election.
Name: Mark Averbeck
Experience: 17-year veteran of San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department
Education: Bachelor of Science in vocational education & training, Southern University of Illinois
Web site: www.electsheriffaverbeck.com
Name: Rod Hoops
Experience: 31-year veteran of San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department
Education: Master’s degree in public administration, Cal State Fullerton
Web site: www.hoopsforsheriff.com
Name: Paul Schrader
Experience: 27-year law enforcement veteran currently working at Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
Education: Completed 50 college credits toward administration of justice degree
Web site: www.sheriffpaul.net
Officer safety tops the list of important issues for Averbeck, who says he wants to build belltowers in the county jails to better protect guards from inmates.
He also talks about cleaning up county corruption and ensuring that minorities also receive promotions within the Sheriff’s Department.
The election is scheduled for June 8.