Voting underway in race for new Salt Lake County sheriff

SANDY — After one round of voting, Unified Police Chief Rosie Rivera and retired Unifed Police Chief Steve Anjewierden are involved in a runoff to determine which person will fill Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder’s remaining 16 months in office.

Rivera was the top vote getter following one round of voting at the Miller Campus at Salt Lake Community College in Sandy by Salt Lake County Democrats, and Anjewierden was second. Neither got at least 60 percent of the votes, prompting a runoff vote between the two.

The three candidates that did not make it past the first round of voting, Levi Hughes, Fred Ross, and Ken Hansen, all stood with Rivera and held up her election signs when she addressed a packed auditorium before the runoff ballot began.

Rivera, who became the department’s first ever female chief when she became head of Unified’s Riverton precinct, is seeking to become not only the county’s first female sheriff, but also the county’s first Latina sheriff. Rivera was also the first female officer in the Metro Gang Unit.

Anjewierden retired from law enforcement in February after 25 years with the Unified Police Department/Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office. He was chief of the Kearns/Magna precinct at the time of his retirement. Among his previous duties, Anjewierden was head of the Metro Gang Unit, and captain over the Professional Standards Division.

Both candidates said if elected to fill Winder’s term, they would run for sheriff again in the 2018 election.

Each of the five candidates delivered a five-minute speech before the first round of voting. All of them talked about developing better relations between police and the community, and each made promises to address the problems of jail overcrowding, the homeless population and the opioid epidemic.

“It is crucial that law enforcement build trust and make authentic connections with all of our communities, but especially with our communities of color,” said Anjewierden.

Anjewierden said his relations with those in the substance abuse…

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