Officers each say they were Dever’s pick for Cochise County sheriff

 

By Rebekah L. Sanders

The Arizona Republic

In the chaos and grief surrounding Sheriff Larry Dever’s sudden death two weeks ago, a divisive political rivalry has erupted in Cochise County.

Two lawmen who once served the sheriff are vying to replace him. And each says he was the longtime sheriff’s handpicked successor.

Even as mourning remains fresh for Dever, who died in a truck crash, the tension of the showdown is mounting. With six weeks until the election, the duel in the county that is home to the O.K. Corral is forcing people loyal to Dever to take sides.

“A lot of my friends are going nuts over this,” said Sam Stone, a Tucson GOP political strategist. “It’s not a left or right political issue. It’s a neighborhood thing. It’s turning into a really interesting, inter-community battle.”

The two front-runners are Republicans who were close to Dever during their years in the Sheriff’s Office.

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