Last week, we invited the candidates running in competitive races in the June 20 Democratic primary to write a post about why Arlington residents should vote for them. Find information on how and where to vote here.
Below is the unedited response from Jose Quiroz, candidate for Arlington County Sheriff.
It has been my honor to serve as Arlington’s Sheriff since January 2023. Following Sheriff Beth Arthur’s retirement I became Arlington County’s first Latino Sheriff. As the son of Honduran immigrants, I am thankful that my family worked hard to build a life for us in Arlington and to have the opportunity to grow up and serve here.
Serving my community has always been very important to me. After being honorably discharged from the United States Marine Corps after four years of service, I continued my service with the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office. Starting my career as a deputy sheriff working in the detention facility, I grew up in the Sheriff’s office working in every division and being promoted through the ranks to eventually be named Chief Deputy in 2022. Over the past 21 years in the Sheriff’s Office, I have built relationships with my staff, with county leadership and with community organizations and members.
Immediately after assuming office, I began working to improve safety in the jail and promote rehabilitation of people in our care. I am working with the County to shift the jail medical services from an outside vendor to in-house staff to bring more accountability. I am in the process of integrating biometric sensors into the jail’s medical unit, an evidence-based tool to help prevent deaths in jails by providing real-time information so staff can respond quickly if a person is experiencing a medical crisis. I am also working to strengthen relationships with community and organizations and DHS to provide better mental health care in the jail by supporting the 14 mental health staffers who work with my office.
I believe in rehabilitation and that a mistake should not follow a person forever. When someone makes a mistake, is held accountable, and is provided the appropriate support to grow from that mistake they are able to grow and become better versions of themselves. This is why I am continuing to work with community partners to bring back proven rehabilitation efforts–such as the robust volunteer-led programs that existed prior to the pandemic–and explore new solutions for rehabilitation and successful integration. It is also why I am committed to making communication free for inmates because maintaining connections with loved ones is very important to the people in the jail.
In recent months, I have taken significant steps to improve engagement with the community. I hired the office’s first ever Public Information Officer, who will help inform the public of what is happening in my office and the detention facility. I am working on creating a dashboard and newsletter that will update the public on our daily work and on our data collections, as well as updating our website. I will continue to invest in crime prevention programs in the county with public schools and local organizations.
As a leader, I am responsible for the wellbeing of my staff and am investing in their future leadership. From providing them enhanced skills training to ensure that they are providing inmates the best care to supporting staff mental health and wellness, investing in our staff will improve safety. I am proud that the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office has a long history of being one of the most diverse county offices and am committed to continuing that tradition by actively recruiting staff from diverse places, encouraging current employees to help recruit new staff members, and creating an internal Diversity, Equity and Inclusion unit to make sure that we are living our values.
I have been a successful servant leader and advocate for my community. Having received endorsements from various leaders and elected officials in Arlington, as well as the Moms Demand Action Gun Sense candidate distinction, I have proved my experience and gained the trust of my staff and community. I look forward to earning your vote this Democratic Primary. Please visit joseforsheriff.us to learn more!
(Updated at 10:10 a.m.) Candidates are starting to emerge in the races to replace two retiring, long-time local elected officials.
Last night’s Arlington County Democratic Committee meeting featured candidate announcements from Jose Quiroz, who is running for Arlington County Sheriff, and Kim Klingler, who is running for Commissioner of Revenue.
Quiroz, a 21-year veteran of the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office who would be the county’s first Latino sheriff, has the endorsement of retiring sheriff Beth Arthur.
More from a press release:
Tonight, Jose Quiroz announced his candidacy to be the Democratic nominee for Arlington County Sheriff before the Arlington County Democratic Committee. Jose has served the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office for over 21 years, rising through the ranks of the office and gaining experience in virtually every division.
“As Sheriff, I am committed to running a safe and progressive jail focused on rehabilitation and refocusing lives.” said Jose, “As part of this commitment I will explore eliminating phone and video call fees from the jail so that people in jail are able to maintain contact with their friends and family, which will make it easier for them to rejoin the community after incarceration.”
Additionally, current Sheriff Beth Arthur announced her early retirement this evening. As Chief Deputy, Jose will succeed Sheriff Arthur in January 2023. “I am incredibly thankful to have the support of Sheriff Arthur, a true leader and trailblazer as the first female Sheriff in Arlington County. I wish her well in her retirement after nearly 36 years with the office.”
On assuming the office, Jose will be the first Latino Sheriff in Arlington County. More about his platform and experience can be found at his campaign website: joseforsheriff.us
In Arlington County, the Sheriff’s Office is responsible for running the jail, providing courtroom security, transporting prisoners, serving summonses and assisting with traffic enforcement.
Also announcing a run for public office last night was Kim Klingler, a local civic figure who currently runs the Columbia Pike Partnership. Klingler is running for Commissioner of Revenue — the elected head of the local tax collection office — and would replace Ingrid Morroy.
Morroy, who first took office in 2004, announced her retirement and endorsed Klingler, according to a press release from the Columbia Pike Partnership.
Last night during the Arlington Democrats monthly meeting, Ingrid Morroy announced her retirement as Commissioner of Revenue for Arlington County and endorsed Kim Klingler, Columbia Pike Partnership Executive Director as her successor.
The Columbia Pike Partnership supports Kim’s decision to run for Commissioner of Revenue. “We’re excited about this opportunity for Kim. During the campaign and months ahead, Kim, the staff, and the board will remain focused on our mission and work in the community,” says Columbia Pike Partnership Board Chair Shannon Bailey.
The Columbia Pike Partnership does not endorse any political candidate in the 2023 election.
Klingler has twice unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for County Board, in 2012 and 2017.
Morroy and Arthur have both been relatively popular in their respective roles, re-elected with more than 95% of vote in 2019 after running unopposed.
More recently, Arthur has faced scrutiny after a series of deaths at the jail, primarily among Black men. A wrongful death lawsuit was filed against Arthur and the Sheriff’s Office earlier this year by the family of one of the men who died. The jail has since updated some of its medical protocols.
More candidate announcements are expected in the coming weeks and months. Two County Board seats will be on next year’s ballot and at least one will be open, with County Board Chair Katie Cristol not seeking reelection.
“We’ll have a lot more candidates announcing,” Arlington County Democratic Committee chairman Steve Baker told the Sun Gazette. “Next year will be a busy year.”
Next year’s Democratic primary will be held in June and will feature a ranked-choice voting system.