Sheriff candidate Paul Miyamoto may have secured an early victory when his only competitor pulled out of the race Tuesday night.
Lt. Ron Terry, a veteran of the Sheriff’s Department, decided that he would rather focus on improving programs to prevent the formerly incarcerated from reoffending than run for office, according to his campaign manager.
“He would be much more far removed as sheriff,” said Y’Anad Burrell.
The 11th-hour decision means that Miyamoto will be the only name on the November ballot to replace retiring Sheriff Vicki Hennessy unless another candidate jumps into the race by the Aug. 14 deadline.
Terry spearheaded a program called the No Violence Alliance, which helps people being released from jail transition back into society. He decided to drop out of the contest ahead of the first debate Wednesday evening.
Miyamoto said he still plans to show up for the event.
“As it stands now I have every intention of staying in the race and debating myself,” Miyamoto said. “I plan on engaging with the community every opportunity I can in order to make sure that people are aware of the opportunity to elect their next sheriff.”
Terry would have had an uphill battle to fight had he stayed in the race.
Miyamoto has secured the high-profile endorsements of Hennessy, Mayor London Breed and supervisors from both sides of the aisle.
Burrell said Terry had three endorsements, including from Rev. Amos Brown, president of the local NAACP.
Terry also had less than $1,000 in campaign contributions altogether, according to his manager, while campaign finance records show Miyamoto had more than $91,000 in donations as of the end of June.
In an interview with the San Francisco Examiner last month, Terry stressed the importance of improving programming.
“I really decided to run for sheriff because I feel that there is a need to extend on the programs outside of the jail and make sure that they look more like the programs inside the jail so that when people leave they have a place to attach themselves too,” Terry said. “I think that would reduce the recidivism rate.”
Miyamoto is expected to speak after the district attorney debate that starts at 6:30 p.m. at the San Francisco County Fair Building.