Carrillo remarks, "The critical issue is crime. . . . I believe people are looking for a change because of all the crime. Whatever we're doing is not working and we need to try something different."
Irmas agreed that crime is the key issue, and that new blood is needed in the department to fight it. Besides, he said, Block four years ago said the present term would be his last.
"I never said that," responded Block, who has been sheriff since 1982.
While Block is running for reelection, numerous Los Angeles officials have left public office. The city has changed its mayor, its police chief and several City Council members, and the county has a new district attorney and two new supervisors.
While Block's opponents all claim the rank-and-file is disenchanted, the sheriff has said he does not believe that, and refers to hundreds of good wishes he received from deputies in his fight last year against cancer. He defends reforms designed to curtail excess use of force as necessary.
Although he said he has been told by many people that his opponents don't have the resources to threaten him, the sheriff said he is taking nothing for granted in the campaign.
"I'm not pursuing this reelection as if there's no contest," he said. "I'd be making a terrible mistake if I didn't tell people I'd appreciate their vote."