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Liaison throws hat in sheriff's race
Democrat Jeff Deremer will try to unseat Bob White, who has been sheriff two terms.
By MOLLY MOORHEAD, Times Staff Writer
Published January 23, 2008
Jeff Deremer, 37, is a parole officer and liaison to the Sheriff's Office.
Kim Bogart, a former sheriff's captain, will challenge Deremer in the August primary.
As a parole officer and liaison to the Sheriff's Office, Jeff Deremer says he can see the problems in Pasco's vast law enforcement agency.
"I'm able to look at it as an outsider," Deremer, 37, said Tuesday. "The detectives and deputies just are very unhappy right now."
Deremer, who grew up in Pasco, said he plans to file papers this week to run for sheriff.
He will try to unseat Sheriff Bob White, who is seeking a third term. But first Deremer will have to survive the August primary. He's running as a Democrat - after switching his registration from Republican a few months ago - and will challenge Kim Bogart, a former sheriff's captain.
Deremer said he thinks much of the discontent in the Sheriff's Office stems from a monthslong deadlock between White and the deputies' union. The two sides have yet to agree on an initial labor contract since the union formed in 2006 - against White's wishes. Two issues remain in the stalemate: The union wants gap insurance for retirees and a more liberal discipline appeals process.
Deremer calls himself a firm believer in unions. In his position with the state Department of Corrections, he is represented by the Police Benevolent Association.
Among the changes he proposes if elected, Deremer says he would seek legislation to impose additional fines on DUI offenders - money that would go straight to sheriff's office coffers.
In another effort to fight crime while easing budget woes, Deremer also advocates a greater emphasis on seizing assets from criminals. He says he has been involved in numerous arrests in which weapons and money were found. Law enforcement agencies can go through the courts to put a claim on assets proven to be used in crimes.
"There's so many budget issues going on with the sheriff's office," Deremer said. "Why can we not investigate this further to answer some of these problems?"
He also favors equal pay raises throughout the chain of command and a greater presence of law enforcement in schools both on-duty and as volunteers to combat rising violent crime.
He starts the race already behind in fundraising. White has more than $43,000 in his war chest. Bogart has about $12,000, but $10,000 of that is a loan to himself.
Former Lt. Robert Sullivan, who retired as head of the vice unit in November and is running on the Republican side, has not yet filed a financial report.
To make it through the general election, Deremer thinks he'll need to raise $200,000. He plans to reach out to Democrats and small business owners.
"I am the underdog, but I kind of like that," he said.
Deremer made the news often as a high school and college athlete. He played football at Ridgewood High and then Florida State University. He also coached high school football for six years, he said.
He is married with two daughters, ages 5 and 2. They live in New Port Richey.