Candidates for Ventura County Sheriff faced off in a debate Wednesday night, with an unforced error by Dennis Carpenter giving Geoff Dean the momentum that carried him over the finish line.
A panel comprised of criminal justice and public policy students at California Lutheran University, where the debate was held, took turns reading questions to the candidates. During one of the early questions, concerning the success of community policing programs, Carpenter lost his train of thought twice before taking a pass. Dean took his turn and asked for the softball question and quickly gave it a solid whack.
Dean waited toward the end of debate to capitalize on Carpenter's mistake. When asked what an important quality for a Sheriff to have is, he replied that the Sheriff needs to be able to think on his feet.
It was barely noticeable, and that was about as heated as the debate got between the two men, who agreed on much and disagreed on little. [continue reading]