Anderson says he still wants to finish some big projects in the final year and a half of this term, including a new main office. But the race is already on for the three candidates who hope to pick up where Anderson left off.
Madera County Undersheriff Michael Salvador officially announced he is running for sheriff, Monday morning. Salvador lives in Madera and also serves on the district's school board. He has 25 years of law enforcement experience and says one of his goals is to bring back positions that were cut during the recession.
"This budget, my first, I've asked for 4 of those positions back, and I've got a plan over the next five years to take the department from where it is now to fully funded, all position," Salvador said.
Fresno Police Sergeant Greg Noll is also running for sheriff. He has worked in law enforcement for 28 years and wants to bring new ideas to the department. Noll lives in Oakhurst and is putting a focus on community involvement.
"I've been doing a lot of community gatherings and meetings and meeting with different people. To determine what the needs there are for Madera sheriff's office," Noll said.
Retired CHP officer Dennis Fairbanks announced his candidacy in May. Fairbanks has 31 years of law enforcement experience. He lives in Coarsegold and works as a realtor in Oakhurst. Fairbanks has made gun rights a key part of his campaign.
"I've stated many times as long as I'm sheriff of Madera county, law abiding citizens would not have to worry about having their guns taken away from them," Fairbanks said.
Sheriff John Anderson says whoever voters choose will continue to face a number of challenges, including a growing number of convicted felons avoiding prison time because of realignment.
"So these people will be around in the community, I think that's going to be a tremendous challenge for law enforcement," Anderson said.
Sheriff Anderson says he is retiring just because it is time after five decades in law enforcement. He is not endorsing a candidate because he has close ties to two of them and does not want to choose. The election will take place in June of next year, and the new term starts in January of 2015.