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Tuolumne County Sheriff Race Looks To Be Competitive

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Sonora, CA — On the same day that Tuolumne County Undersheriff Bill Pooley filed his election papers to officially become a candidate to replace Jim Mele, a former sheriff’s office deputy took out nomination papers.

Pooley has received the support of outgoing Sheriff Mele, having worked closely with him on notable projects over the past five years, including the jail facility under construction. Pooley started his law enforcement career in 1990 with the Sonora Police Department, later moved over to the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office, then the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office (where he served as Riverbank’s Police Chief), and back to the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office in 2013, to serve as Sheriff Mele’s second in command. After turning in his papers to the election’s office yesterday, Pooley noted in a press release that his top priorities will be to bring people together toward a common goal of “ensuring public safety and maintaining the quality of life in the county.”

The other prospective candidate to emerge is Rob Lyons, who retired in 2016 after a successful 26 year career with the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office. When Lyons was recognized with a retirement proclamation by the Board of Supervisors in December of that year, it was noted that he wore several hats during his law enforcement career. He served as a community resource officer for south county schools, search and rescue coordinator, taught law enforcement ROP at Summerville High School, and also coached many local youth sports teams. Lyons has until tomorrow (Wednesday) at 5pm to return all of the nomination papers to qualify for the ballot.

  • Tuolomne County Election Office
  • Bill Pooley (left) is joined by Sheriff Mele while filing election papers
  • Deputy Rob Lyons recognized by Sheriff Mele Upon retirement in 2016