SANFORD, Fla. -- Dennis Lemma went through the motions of running for sheriff of Seminole County, but it was a forgone conclusion the job would be his once the incumbent, Don Eslinger, decided to retire.
Eslinger, now in his 24th year, is the second longest-serving sheriff in Florida's history. And Lemma has been with him nearly every step of the way as his protege.
Lemma will be sworn in as sheriff on Jan. 3.
Not with his extensive training and his proven track record of success in climbing through the ranks. Certainly nobody from within was going to challenge the 44-year-old lawman when Eslinger announced in early August and with Lemma named as his endorsed successor that very day.
And while it's true that Lemma stood alone when qualifying officially ended at high noon on June 24, a Friday, Lemma did have an opponent early on. Sort of.
Headline Surfer® interviewed Lemma on Friday morning in a conference room outside his office, with Public Information Manager Kim Cannaday, sitting in and providing background before the interview was recorded.
Among the highlights in the 23.28 interview (2 segments combined):