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Meet the candidates running for Hillsborough County sheriff

Chad Chronister, Gary Pruitt and Ron McMullen are facing off in the November election.
Credit: 10 Tampa Bay Digital
Chad Chronister (left), Gary Pruitt (center), Ron McMullen (left)

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — During this year’s general election voting season, Hillsborough County voters will have a chance to select who they would like to see as the next county sheriff.

Residents will have a choice between incumbent Chad Chronister, Gary Pruitt and Ron McMullen.

Chad Chronister and Gary Pruitt agreed to an on-camera interview with 10 Tampa Bay and shared a little bit more about themselves, as well as their views on several topics currently at the forefront for law enforcement. Those topics include police brutality, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the steps they’ll take to improve cultural diversity throughout law enforcement.

Chronister, Pruitt and McMullen were asked the same 20 questions. McMullen did not respond to requests for interviews back in September but on Oct. 22 spoke with reporter Tamika Cody.

Below are photos from our 20 questions interview sessions. Scroll down to the sections on the candidates to watch their videos.

Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

20 Questions with Sheriff Chronister

Sheriff Chronister started his career in law enforcement during the early 1990s. Governor Rick Scott appointed Chronister to the county sheriff position in September 2017 after Sheriff David Gee announced his retirement. 

During the November 2018 local elections, Chronister beat his challenger, Gary Pruitt.

20 Questions with Gary Pruitt

Gary Pruitt worked in law enforcement for 25 years. In 2015, he retired from the Tampa Police Department.

Three years after his retirement, Pruitt ran against Chad Chronister for Hillsborough County Sheriff.

At that time, Pruitt received about 45 percent of the votes, or 231,418. 

Conversation with Ron McMullen

After this article was published, Ron McMullen responded to 10 Tampa Bay.

McMullen agreed to a traditional style interview, which took place on Wednesday, Oct. 22, at Paul Sanders Park in Brandon, Florida.

During the conversation, McMullen shared his views on the Black Lives Matter Movement, his plans on how he will recruit minorities into law enforcement and what motivated him to run for Hillsborough Sheriff.

Early voting in Hillsborough County starts Oct. 19 and runs until Nov. 1. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Hillsborough County residents can also drop off their ballots at select locations. 

If you choose to wait until Election Day, Nov. 3, 2020, you have until 7 p.m. to cast your vote at your designated precinct. 

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