Newcomer to Take on Fontoura in June

Arnold Seeks to Unseat Long-Serving Sheriff

John Arnold Jr., the son of a Newark police lieutenant and himself a law enforcement veteran, has filed to run in the June Democratic primary for Essex County Sheriff, a post held for decades by fellow Democrat Armando Fontoura.

His campaign announced the filing today and the Essex County Clerk’s Office confirmed it. No other candidate, Democrat or Republican, has yet filed to run in the primary, the clerk’s office also said.

Arnold, who was profiled by Patch in December, has served in law enforcement since 1985, when the Science High School alumnus became an officer with the campus police at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark.  The Marine Corps veteran went on to become a detective with the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, where he was the first African-American lieutenant in the homicide division and the first to be named commander of that division.

Married and a father of four, Arnold, 46, said that if elected, he would work to raise the profile of the sheriff’s office, whose responsibilities include patrolling county parks, serving as court officers and running specialized units such as the bomb squad.

He would also expand the deputy program, in which civilians receive training and supplement the paid force, and promised to make the force more diverse to reflect the community it serves.

Fontoura, 69, who has served as sheriff since 1990 and plans on seeking an eighth three-year term this year, will likely be a formidable opponent. In both the 2006 and 2009 Democratic primaries, he handily defeated challengers Janice Matos and Richard Mastrangelo, respectively. Fontoura then cruised to victory in both general elections.

John March 14, 2012 at 01:45 AM
Candidate Arnold Needs to do his Homework... # of Deputies is limited by statute, which the Sheriff's Office is at its max so impossible to expand unless Candidate Arnold plans on running for State Assemblyman or Senator to enact legislation. Great Platform Candidate Arnold!!!
Eradicate Ignorance March 14, 2012 at 03:51 AM
That's not his platform if you know anything about him or his campaign. And knowing Captain Arnold, he's done his homework a lot more than I can say for you "John" (how original). Expand doesn't necessarily mean "increase" in number Einstein!!! But then again you're probably one of Armando's flunkies which is why he and you need to go!!!! At least he has a platform! What's Armando's??? Golf today? Which course???
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