Sheriff candidates speak at Latino Leadership Council.
LAS VEGAS -- Early voting is underway in Clark County and one of the biggest races is for the job of sheriff. Nine men who want to lead the Las Vegas Metropolitan Department have thrown their hat into the ring.
Doug Gillespie is not running for re-election.
While the frontrunner's may be familiar to some voters, the list of nine also includes members of Metro's brass, an airline pilot, and a bail bondsman.
Metro is the largest law enforcement agency in Nevada. From the Las Vegas Strip to the suburbs, Metro police officers see it all.
At a recent forum sponsored by the Latino Leadership Council, sheriff candidates sounded off.
Gordon Martines was a Metro police officer for 36 years.
"My beloved police department, probably for the last eight years, maybe nine years, has fallen to a corrupted abyss," Martines said.
Former Las Vegas Constable Bobby Gronauer carried the Metro badge from 1974 to 1999. He says he's getting a lot of feedback about the department.
"They said they're tired of sitting on their hands, the morale is going to heck," Gronauer said.
Timothy Deam promotes himself as "a highly-decorated veteran, former cop and bounty hunter." He says officials framed him in a murder-for-hire plot and he spent 15 months in jail. Deam is alarmed about officer-involved shootings.
"I have a no nonsense approach. A lot of police officers are going to go to prison. Some may even end up on death row," Deam said.
Assistant Sheriff Joe Lombardo has the campaign treasure chest as his weapon, raising more money than anyone.
"What's my singular focus if I'm elected sheriff? To improve upon your quality of life," he said.
Retired Metro Captain Larry Burns, who could not attend the forum due to an illness, has the advantage with patrol officers and backing by the unions.
"Of major concern is, we have violent crime that is increasing. Double digits in many parts of the city," Burns said.
Ted Moody joined Metro in 1983 and was promoted to assistant sheriff in 2008.
"My greatest passion is reducing police use of deadly force. I've worked hard toward that goal for the better part of a 30-year career," he said.
Angel Barboza, a Clark County court marshal, is a former Utah police chief.
"Lately, the department has disconnected itself from the community," Barboza said.
Bill Roman works in corporate security management.
"Our department is not well-liked. That's a problem," Roman said.
And before he joined the police force eight years ago, Kenneth "Nick" Page was a pilot with United Airlines for 37 years.
"There is no trust of the people at the top in Metro anymore. Not by the patrol officers, and that's what I am. I'm a patrol officer," he said.
They are nine very different candidates who want the top job of sheriff, but only two will go forward to the November general election when voters voice their choice. The primary election is June 10, but early voting goes until June 6.