Former Pima County Sheriff Chris Nanos.

Chris Nanos, a Democrat who was appointed Pima County Sheriff in 2015 and lost the job to Republican Mark Napier in the 2016 election, said he'll announce this morning that he's running to get his job back.

"After Sheriff Napier was given the employees Vote of No Confidence, I started receiving numerous calls," he told media in text and voice mails. "I have heard from several Department employees ... from civilians to Corrections Officers, from Deputies to Command staff .. and they all want the same thing... they just want their Department back."

The Pima County Deputy Sheriff's Association, a union that endorsed Napier in 2016, rendered a "no confidence" vote him in October. Union spokesman and past president Kevin Kubitskey, a Democrat, announced he intends to run in 2020.

Nanos' announcement comes about two weeks after a billboard went up near Sheriff's headquarters with a photo of him that read, "We need a new leader. We need Nanos."

Under those words: “Sponsored by employees of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.”

Nanos said he doesn’t know who put up the sign but he wasn't surprised. 

“I’m probably to blame for some of this,” he told the Green Valley News earlier this month, explaining he’s never said he wouldn’t run again.

“(People) always ask and I’ve always told them that the only way I’d run is if the department got behind me because I don’t see who is going to run to be a leader of an organization that doesn’t want you,” Nanos said.

In his statement announcing his bid, Nanos said, "It could not be any clearer, the Department has spoken. I join with them in asking Sheriff Napier to be a man of his word and step down and not run for re-election."

In a 2016 post-election interview with the Green Valley News, Nanos said he would not consider running again.

“No, absolute no," he said. "Two years ago I'd have said my passion's all about law enforcement, but now I look at it and go, my passion's more about this community and the people in it.”


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