Political turf wars began in 1926
For The Madera Tribune
Madera County Sheriff John Barnett (left) is shown here in 1921 with Undersheriff Clarence Osborn and prisoner Ah Coon, who was being taken to jail. Barnett served Madera County as sheriff until 1926, when local politics soured him on continuing his career in law enforcement.
For the first 19 years of its existence as an incorporated city, Madera’s political machinery ran without rancor or hard feelings, for the most part. Most office seekers simply offered their services to fill various community needs and did little to tarnish the political landscape. During those early years, challenges to incumbent office holders were rare.
In 1926, however, things began to change, and real political turf wars appeared for the first time in Madera in contests for the city council and the office of sheriff.
It all started when three members of the city council were challenged in their bids for reelection.