As the election grows near, voters want to know about their candidates. Over the next months the Observer will post a series of Q and As as responses come in. These are the candidates in Sandoval County.

Darrell “Keith” Elder (R), candidate for Sandoval County Sheriff

Observer: What is your background in politics, crime, and community?

My political involvement dates back to the 1990s when I helped various candidates when they were running for office.  My direct political involvement was when I ran for Sandoval County Sheriff in 2018.

As a law enforcement officer, I have a diverse background in criminal and traffic crash investigations. I have completed simple investigations through homicide investigations.  I have successfully prosecuted a range of cases in court including vehicular homicide and murder cases.  These complex investigations required a great deal of commitment to bring them to a successful conclusion.  Throughout my law enforcement career I have been directly involved in the communities I served.  Service included being a chaperone for a prom, sitting on the chamber of commerce board, sitting on a charter school board, and serving on a county fair board.  Involvement in the community provides an excellent opportunity to learn about the communities that you live in.


Observer:  Why are you running for Sheriff?

I am running for Sheriff to reduce increasing crime, ensure children safety at school and improve patrols throughout the county. I intend to work closely with other police departments to re-establish communication and relationships.


Observer: Which areas of crime need the most attention currently?

The areas of crime that need the most attention are domestic violence, working with the native community to assist with the investigation of missing women, and mental health related to substance abuse.


Observer:  What will you do about the ongoing fentanyl problem in Sandoval County?

I will work with police departments to share information to identify fentanyl sources. Work with local and federal prosecutors to bring users and dealers to justice.  I will also require our deputies to complete training on the use of Narcan for delivery to those that have overdosed in order to save lives.


Observer: As Sheriff what are your expectations of law enforcement in Sandoval County?

As your Sheriff, I will commit to working with all law enforcement agencies in Sandoval County.  I will meet with the agencies leaders on a regular basis to share information that will benefit us all to reduce crime, keep our children and communities safe. As a law enforcement team we can be stronger than one agency.