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Voters deciding contentious Sheriff's race in Ventura County

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Two Ventura County Sheriff's Office veterans face off against each other.

We’re in the home stretch for the June primary election, with a number of races on the Central and South Coasts among those being decided.

In Ventura County, voters will settle one of the most contentious races on the region, which will decide who will run the largest law enforcement agency in the Tri-Counties.

Ventura County Sheriff Billy Ayub is seeking a second term in office. He’s being challenged by one of the top officials on his staff, Commander Jim Fryhoff.

Ayub first became a full-time officer with the Port Hueneme Police Department in 1990, joining the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy in 1996. He worked in virtually every area of the department from homicide to a patrol commander. He was appointed Assistant Sheriff, and 2018 was elected without opposition as Sheriff.

Fryoff started with the Sheriff’s Office in 1990, and also worked in different areas of the agency, including as a detective, the special enforcement unit, and as police chief of two cities. He received a Medal of Valor for his actions in a shootout which left a fellow officer dead.

Whoever wins on Tuesday will have a big job on their hands. The Department has a nearly $300 million budget, with some 1300 uniformed and civilians employees.

KCLU’s Lance Orozco talks with the two candidates.