Pat Lunney seems administratively capable enough to run for sheriff. He is definitely “connected” up to his eyeballs with important out-of-county law enforcement politicos. Hobnobs with the best. Without doubt he’s loved by Merced’s good old boys and other county “swells” because he is one of them.
Lunney, 67, is definitely still great looking, suave and has charisma in spades. However, in his expensive suits, sporting perfectly coiffed hair, manicured hands and spray tanned, I cannot imagine him out in our county engaging in the nitty-gritty muck and mire required daily of rural sheriffs. I can picture 35-year department veteran Vern Warnke, who has earned co-workers’ respect and the endorsement of the Deputy Sheriff’s Association, involved and leading from the front.
If Warnke’s deputies uncover a $6 million marijuana stash, I know Vern would be first in the fields, side by side with his men, sleeves rolled up, in the 100 degree Merced County heat pulling out those plants.
I want my sheriff to be hands-on, to have earned the respect of his deputies, worked in all areas of the department, and committed to serving and protecting the public above all else. Vern Warnke is that choice June 3.