Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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Tuesday November 8, 2022 — California General Election
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San Diego CountyCandidate for Sheriff

Photo of Kelly Anne Martinez

Kelly Anne Martinez

525,111 votes (50.3%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Ensuring public safety in every community within San Diego County.
  • Hiring and retaining highly qualified personnel at all levels of the Sheriff's Department.
  • Investing in county jails through infrastructure improvements and robust healthcare services to provide a safe environment for incarcerated individuals and staff.



Profession:San Diego County Undersheriff
Undersheriff, San Diego County Sheriff's Department (2021–current)
Assistant Sheriff, San Diego County Sheriff's Department (2017–2021)


Kelly Martinez is the first female to serve as Undersheriff in the history of San Diego County. She is running to be the Department’s first female Sheriff. Kelly brings a wealth of experience and common-sense law enforcement strategies to the job. She is committed to public safety and a strategy for investing in county jails to ensure they are safe for incarcerated individuals and staff.

As second in command at the Sheriff’s Office, Kelly has already implemented major reforms with a strong focus on transparency. She believes the community needs to know how the Sheriff’s Department operates in order to ensure the confidence that everyone is being served fairly. Public safety begins in the community and the Sheriff’s Department is responsible for keeping us safe. Strong relationships are the foundation for success.

Kelly has spent her entire law enforcement career in San Diego County. She knows the communities she serves. Kelly began as a Deputy Sheriff in 1985 and has worked her way through the ranks, serving as Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, Commander, Assistant Sheriff, and now Undersheriff.

In her current role Kelly oversees the Department’s budget of more than $1 Billion. She supports 4,600 authorized employees, 21 Patrol Stations and Substations, 7 Detention Facilities, 7 Superior Court facilities and the related Civil Division, a nationally accredited Crime Laboratory, and all the other functions necessary to provide for public safety throughout San Diego County.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

There are no victimless crimes. Kelly will fight tirelessly to support victims, solve violent crimes and hold offenders accountable. These efforts will bring resolution to victims of violent crime. There is nothing more important to Kelly than keeping our communities safe. Her approach to violent crime is to build trust and earn legitimacy in the communities we serve.


Kelly will make investments in prevention and intervention programs. She will target enforcement efforts and priorities. She will do that by solving violent crimes when they occur and by focusing on individuals who are drivers of violent crime. Kelly will measure results through data analysis and refocus efforts where they are working and redirect efforts where they are not.


Kelly believes the way to keep our communities safe is to understand what is working and what is not. Data informed and evidence-based decision making is the only way to implement meaningful change that does not unintentionally and negatively impact public safety or individuals.



Sweeping change that does not consider consequences based on analysis does not work. Kelly will continue an analysis and information based approach when considering how to keep our communities and jails safe.

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