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SACRAMENTO, Calif (KTXL) — California Assemblyman Jim Cooper publicly announced his candidacy for Sacramento County sheriff on Thursday. 

Cooper, a Democrat from Elk Grove, was a former Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office captain before serving as an assembly member for eight years. 

“I have dedicated my life to my community, protecting victims and keeping the public safe,” Cooper said in a statement. “I look forward to building on this commitment as Sacramento County’s Sheriff.” 

The county sheriff’s seat is going to be vacant after current Sheriff Scott Jones, a Republican, recently announced a run for Congress.

Sacramento County Sheriff’s Capt. Jim Barnes announced he is also running for the seat. Barnes is described as a close ally of Sheriff Jones and he already has an endorsement from the Sacramento County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association. 

This is Cooper’s second time running for sheriff. He previously ran against Jones in 2010, losing by over 3,600 votes.

If elected, Cooper would be the first Black sheriff in Sacramento County’s history.

Cooper, a Rancho Cordova High School alumnus, also served as the founding mayor of Elk Grove and sat on Elk Grove’s City Council for 15 years. 

“There is no one better prepared to lead the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department than Jim Cooper,” Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said in Cooper’s official announcement. “Public safety is in Jim’s DNA. He’ll hit the ground running to enforce the law and protect victims.” 

According to a press release, Cooper has 14 endorsements, with 10 of them coming from elected officials in Sacramento County.