Pinal Supervisor jumps to Sheriff’s race

VIA SBINSIDER| August 18th, 2023

Kevin Cavanaugh whose tenure on the Pinal County Board has been marked by lawsuits and controversy has decided to forgo his race for re-election to the County Board and instead run for Pinal County Sheriff.

Currently, there are 3 candidates who have pulled paperwork to run. Ross Teeple (R) of Florence, Kevin Taylor (D) of Maricopa and Patrick Melvin (D) of Maricopa. Teeple was urged to run by Sheriff Mark Lamb who has decided to run for US Senate.

This announcement was made the same day as the Pinal County board met, Wednesday August 16th. At the meeting, Cavanaugh had a heated exchange with other Board members when he asked Dana Lewis and the county manager whether a background check had been done on Ms. Lewis before she was appointed as County Recorder in August 2022.  Cavanaugh stated that the Board had voted for a resolution that included that proviso. But, when the minutes were consulted, the final resolution that passed did NOT include any background check.

The Recorder is normally an elected position as opposed to a direct hire of the county. Due to the resignation of elected Recorder Virginia Ross that same month, when Ross took over the elections department, Lewis was appointed to the position and is planning to be on the ballot for 2024.

UPDATE August 19th:  At the Pinal County Republican meeting Saturday the 19th, Cavanaugh was on the agenda to discuss the latest county news. Instead, Cavanaugh used the forum to launch into a meandering discourse on why he was now running for Sheriff. As he finished, he turned to Ross Teeple (the other declared Republican candidate) and said he, Cavanaugh was collecting signatures for Teeple! He stated that Teeple needed a strong primary challenge to win the general election. Further, he told the crowd and Teeple that he would like to meet one to one to discuss this strategy.

The crowd was stunned and confused as to why Cavanaugh would say such a thing. Presently, members of the crowd started asking Cavanaugh questions. One person asked “Would you submit to a background check and polygraph? ” (This question was in response to the Board meeting the prior Wednesday.)  Cavanaugh responded he had a migraine and had to leave and would not take any questions. He quickly made his exit.

For more detail on the race, please click here to visit 

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9 months ago

Have you ever heard of a competitor for the same office offer to strategize? Seems like it would be unwise to take Mr Cavanaugh up on that offer!
Dana Lewis is highly esteemed by those who know her and Supervisor Cavanaugh’s behavior to her was disrespectful and discourteous. Yet he clearly objected to being asked the same question he had posited to Dana Lewis. Dana answered his question while Cavanaugh refused to answer and abruptly left.

Gloria Wolf
9 months ago

I agree that Dana Lewis is held in high esteem, not so with Cavanaugh.

Jack Mattachione
Jack Mattachione
9 months ago

Agree Dana is professional and trustworthy.