Kelly Martinez

Key Facts

Party N/A; nonpartisan election
Status Challenger


Kelly Martinez received an A.S. in Criminal Justice and Police Science from San Diego Miramar College and a BASc in Criminal Justice Administration from National University. She has worked for the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office for 32 years in various capacities including as a Deputy Sheriff, Captain, Commander, Assistant Sheriff, and most recently as Undersheriff. She is San Diego’s first female Undersheriff [6].

Key Issues

Public Safety

Martinez supports implementing Mobile Crisis Response Teams to respond to non-violent persons experiencing mental health issues and establishing Crisis Stabilization Units to provide free mental health and substance abuse treatment. She supports the use of SAFE teams to monitor activity of sexually violent predators and protect children. She wants to use data and analysis to identify successful programs and develop new approaches [1].


Martinez wants to increase funding for county jails to repair infrastructure and provide appropriate physical and mental healthcare for incarcerated individuals. She supports the Medically Assisted Treatment programs, establishing primary care systems for incarcerated individuals, and maintaining the Citizen Law Enforcement Review Board [1].


Martinez wants to ensure in-custody deaths are reported in a timely manner and autopsy reports are no longer routinely sealed, and wants to implement a body-worn camera program in jails. She wants to implement secure data-use and collection policies and publicize information on how surveillance data is stored and used. As Undersheriff, she administered the release of body-worn camera footage and increased the amount of available information regarding COVID-19 and mental health programs in county jails [1].

Criminal Justice

Martinez supports investing in prevention and intervention programs, solving crimes efficiently when they occur, and using data analysis to keep track of regular perpetrators and properly channel efforts [1]. She supports proposed legislation that would make several repeat misdemeanor offenses a felony [7].


She wants to expand community access to resources, especially those that are underprivileged. As Undersheriff, she collaborated with County Partners to staff deputies on Homeless Assistance Resource Teams, created the Sheriff’s first Community Inclusion Director position, helped develop the Spanish Citizen’s Academy, and staffed a team focused on closing unlicensed marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated areas [1]. 

Gun Policy

Martinez wants to identify and remove guns from prohibited persons and work with law enforcement to effectively prosecute individuals with violent criminal backgrounds involving guns [1].


Juan Vargas, Congressman in the US House of Representatives; Toni Atkins, President Pro Tempore in the California State Senate; Lorena Gonzalez, Former California Assemblymember; Tasha Boerner Horvath, California Assemblymember; Nathan Fletcher, Chairman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors; Nora Vargas, Vice Chairwoman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors; Terra Lawson-Remer, Supervisor on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors; Joel Anderson, Supervisor on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors; Summer Stephan, San Diego County District Attorney; Bill Gore, Former San Diego County Sheriff; Todd Gloria, Mayor of San Diego; Stephen Whitburn, Councilmember for the City of San Diego; Christine Kehoe, California State Senator (Ret.); Serge Dedina, Mayor of Imperial Beach; Mary Salas, Mayor of Chula Vista; Esther Sanchez, Mayor of Oceanside; Dr. William A. Benson, Bishop at the Total Deliverance Worship Center; Dr. Gerald Brown, Pastor at the Mt. Mariah Christian Church and Executive Director of UAAMAC; Byron Richardson, Pastor at the EGWC Christian Fellowship; Don Barnes, Orange County Sheriff; David Bejarano, Former Police Chief of the City of San Diego, City of Chula Vista; Bob Brewer, Former US Attorney in the Southern District of California; Ernie Cowan, Former Mayor of Escondido; Greg Cox, Former Supervisor on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors; Leon Williams, Former Supervisor and Councilmember for the County of San Diego; Cal Fire Firefighters Local 2881; Neighborhood Market Association; Associated General Contractors of America; Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters; Greater San Diego Association of REALTORS; San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce; Downtown San Diego Partnership; National Latino Peace Officers Association – Advocacy; California Coalition of Law Enforcement Associations; California District Attorney Investigators Association; Peace Officers Research Association of California; San Diego County Chiefs’ and Sheriffs Association; San Diegans Against Crime; San Diego Deputy District Attorneys Association; San Diego District Attorney Investigators Association; Chula Vista Police Officers Association; San Diego Police Officers Association; Deputy Sheriffs’ Association of San Diego County 


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