Praising his pro-union stance and 17-year history with the Sheriff's Office, the Lee County Sergeants and Deputies Association endorsed Timothy Fisher for sheriff on Thursday.
The endorsement followed a forum Wednesday in Fort Myers, where candidates Fisher, Lee Bushong and Christian Miester answered a series of questions posed by members of the local International Union of Police Association and other unions.
Incumbent Sheriff Mike Scott declined to attend, according to IUPA No. 6070 President Jamison Lazenby.
Fisher, who is the supervisor of the Sheriff's Office's school resource program and member of the SWAT team, received the endorsement based on his law enforcement experience, master's degree in public administration and pro-union stance, according to a news release from the IUPA.
Lazenby said Fisher's experience was "far above and beyond" that of the incumbent sheriff.
"He is a nice guy, but he's a poor administrator," Lazenby said of Scott.
Fisher said Thursday he was "pleasantly surprised" to receive the endorsement and said he would be campaigning "not on charisma, but on character."
"I am the average Joe," he said. "I'm not a politician; I'm a cop."
Attempts to reach Scott were unsuccessful Thursday.