Bill Hunt's Remarkable Rise

[Moxley Confidential] Will Mike Carona's ex-punching bag be Orange County's next sheriff?

“Politics and political pressure will not stop me from doing the job of sheriff,” he said. “I’ll be obligated to step up and fight for our constitutional liberties.”

Hunt’s alignment with Arpaio prompted Hunter to call the Arizona sheriff “an overzealous . . . racist.”

The crowd booed again, and Hunt pounced.

Bill Hunt works the crowd
Christopher Victorio
Bill Hunt works the crowd

“You call Joe Arpaio a racist?” he said. “That’s what happens when a sheriff stands up and does his duty!”

By the loud cheers, you might have thought Denny’s had begun its 4 p.m. dinner service. One attendee, who had told me he was undecided before the forum, said he’ll vote for Hunt. “[Hutchens] is too wishy-washy,” concluded the man, who described himself as a retired advertising executive. “Hunter has some good experience in Anaheim, but I got the feeling he also has a chip on his shoulder. Hunt impressed me the most. He doesn’t seem afraid to do the job right.”

Afterward, Hunt felt victorious. He believes he can win the June election by winning more than 50 percent of the vote and avoid a run-off between the top two candidates. It’s a ballsy prediction, but that is Hunt’s mindset.

Conditions might just favor him. Incredibly, for only the second time in 35 years, Orange County doesn’t have its elected sheriff running for re-election. That makes Hunt the most experienced campaigner in this race.

“I’m having fun, and I know what I’m doing,” he said. “People in Orange County want bold, conservative leadership, and I’m going to give it to them.”

This column appeared in print as "The Fall & Rise of Bill Hunt: Will Mike Carona’s ex-punching bag be Orange County’s next sheriff?"
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