Lamb at protest

Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb addresses a rally at the state Capitol Friday of vaccine opponents and those who contend the election was stolen ahead of the formal presentation of the audit report by Cyber Ninjas.

FLORENCE — The first thing to know about Mark Lamb, the sheriff of Pinal County, Arizona, is that he just plain looks like a sheriff. It could be the Justin cowboy hat he wears pulled low over his eyes and his penchant for Western shirts and a tactical vest in lieu of a uniform. It could be his demeanor, at once confident and aw-shucks. It could be his size — he’s 6’3”, 240 pounds, or so he writes in his self-published book, American Sheriff: Traditional Values in a Modern World.

In public, Lamb commands attention. During a July interview at a local café here decked out in Old West paraphernalia, passersby interrupted to clasp hands heartily with him and chat. There was an older Latino man named Randy wearing a snap-pocket shirt who had recently retired from a wild horse-and-burro program at the nearby prison and asked Lamb if he knew any cowboys. There were middle-aged women with salon-styled hair hoping to take their picture with him. There was the waitress who told Lamb he needed to gain weight. They seemed unsurprised to see their sheriff talking to a reporter and flashing his TV-ready smile.

Lamb, 49, has jurisdiction over only Arizona’s third most populous county, a stretch of desert wedged between Phoenix and Tucson that’s home to about 500,000 people. Yet he styles himself as the “American Sheriff” — a moniker around which he has spent the past several years trying to build a national brand as a fervent defender of law enforcement.

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Jessica Pishko is a writer and a lawyer who is working on a book about sheriffs.


(3) comments


I think this article really underscores the appeal of Sheriff Mark Lamb. I have known him since before he was elected and always found him to be a genuinely friendly and helpful guy. Since he has been elected, I know that if I call him, I get an answer. No a secretary or voice mail but Mark Lamb. How many elected officials do you get that from? As far as his family goes, I have only met one son but as polite and respectful as he is, you can tell he was raised right by his parents. That speaks volumes about Sheriff Lamb as well. To cut to the chase, I think it would be easier to ask what’s not to like about Sheriff Lamb?


Ever hear the expression, all hat and no cattle?


Rhinestone Cowboy

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