SANTA CRUZ, Calif. -

A day after Santa Cruz County Sheriff Phil Wowak announced he wouldn't run for re-election, his chief deputy launched his campaign for sheriff.

Wowak told reporters Thursday that he planned to step down in December when his term ends, after 32 years in law enforcement. He endorsed Chief Deputy Jim Hart as his successor.

Hart on Friday publicly declared his intention to run. Hart has been with the department for more than 25 years, and has also received the endorsement of District Attorney Bob Lee, Assemblymen Luis Alejo and Mark Stone, and a number of other local elected officials. A full list of endorsements is available on his campaign website.