El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa on Friday announced he is endorsing former sheriff John Anderson to be his successor.

Maketa, who is stepping down because of term limits, stood on the steps of the gazebo at the Pioneers Museum in downtown Colorado Springs next to Anderson and said he would return the support that Anderson showed him during his 2002 campaign. Maketa succeeded Anderson, whose second term as sheriff ended in 2003.

"He gave me a tremendous opportunity 12 years ago and even long before that," Maketa said.

He said a victory for Anderson in November would help continue the work Anderson began more than a decade ago and that Maketa continued during his tenure.

"We're here to talk about a seamless transition for what I believe is one of the finest law enforcement agencies in the country," Maketa said.

Anderson "humbly" accepted Maketa's endorsement, echoing the sheriff about the need for continuity.

"We need to put the best interest of public safety first," he said.

Anderson recently entered the sheriff's race; Jim Reid, the county's public services director and Bill Elder, Fountain's deputy police chief, entered in fall 2013.

Elder recently received a high-profile endorsement of his own from the Pikes Peak law enforcement community. The Colorado Springs Police Protective Association announced its support on Wednesday.

The race has been caught up in an investigation of an Internal Affairs file on Elder, who worked for the Sheriff's Office for 19 years. The file was reported stolen last spring.

Maketa says he saw the file before it disappeared, and he has been vocal about the investigation. Elder insists he was never investigated by Internal Affairs and questions whether the file exists and whether the investigation is politically motivated.

Anderson has used details from Elder's past, and the missing file, to call Elder's character into question.

Maketa has given several deputies in his office lie detector tests, but reportedly has no leads on the file.