"How do I find time to make gumbo, you ask? I make time."
Welcome to the Balboa County voting booth.
You, the (attractive, intelligent) voter, are surrounded by hard plastic and a blue, velvet curtain that smells like French fries. You face a single ballot and an important decision.
Your vote will decide whether Keith Mars retains his seat as sheriff, and trust us, he's the right one, baby, uh-huh. But before you put a tick in Mr. Mars's box, let us make you an informed citizen…
During Keith Mars's first tenure as sheriff, he made a sacrifice that cost him his job. He accused Jake Kane of murdering his daughter Lilly despite Jake's position as the richest, most influential man in Neptune. Mr. Mars was booted from the sheriff's office, and even with Lamb as a replacement, he remained in Neptune, paying for Veronica's fancy duds by working as a private investigator. The choice cost him his wife, who bailed faster than Republicans at a Dixie Chicks concert, but his daughter, Veronica, stuck by his side.
Keith Mars slowly rebuilt the life he had once enjoyed. Solving cases restored his reputation, and he ran for sheriff again, though unsuccessfully. His loss may have had something to do with Lamb's timely disclosure of one of Mr. Mars's less fortuitous mercies: he had let a drunk driver walk one night, and that same drunk became the bus driver who was accused of plunging his magic school bus, and all the innocent kids inside, off a cliff.
Lady Luck may have smashed Mr. Mars's professional career to smithereens, but she's the only lady who can resist his Mr. Clean countenance and wily charms. Rebecca James, Neptune High's guidance counselor, was the first to fall under his spell, but Mr. Mars dropped her like a pound of wet cabbage when Veronica balked at the idea of a replacement mom. He conquered Alicia Fennel next, but his snooping, her lying, and their very different approaches to child-rearing drove them apart.
Soon after, Keith Mars, normally the most stalwart of Neptune parents, bailed on a father/daughter trip to New York to chase a case. Needless to say, this decision made Veronica more than a little cranky, but Mr. Mars had his reasons. He helped Kendall Casablancas and the Van Gogh she had sunk her stolen savings into escape a few fuming Fitzpatricks. Kendall probably assumed that her Sports Illustrated bod would be enough to keep her man faithful, but he betrayed her, leaving Mr. Mars with the invaluable painting. Veronica eventually forgave him after he bought her a new car, but Liam never did — he's still after the money. Neither knew that Keith Mars, honest schmuck he is, donated the stolen fortune to charity.
There was a nasty side effect — Mr. Mars's part in Kendall's murder plagued him. So much, in fact, that his normally sharp judgment went wonky enough to lead him to facilitate a kidnapping, disrespect a law officer not named for a farm animal, and begin an ill-fated tryst with a semi-hot married lady named Harmony Chase. Keith Mars's moral compass kept him clean for a while, but a nearly fatal car accident pushed him into her arms. The only girl who could steal his heart away from Harmony was Veronica, and her disapproving eyes made him break off the affair and return to his Boy Scout roots.
Tragedy struck (did it?) when former sheriff Don Lamb was killed in action, and Keith Mars was returned to office. During Mr. Mars' second tenure, the times have been a-changin'. For one, a few deputies lax on underaged drinking got very angry pink slips, and Leo, the hunky crush of a younger, blonder Mars, is back on the force. But in the midst of all the fiesta-worthy good fortune, a mustachioed cloud has settled over the station: Vinnie Van Lowe, the seedy, Members Only-wearing P.I., is Mr. Mars's opponent in the aforementioned special election.
Most recently, Keith Mars has been lampooned by the press for destroying evidence, which, unbeknownst to reporters everywhere, clearly implicated Veronica in the Kane mansion break-in. Mr. Mars took the footage from a neighbor as evidence, but when the county prosecutor secured a judge's order, MacGyver-Keith corrupted the incriminating DVR with a stereo speaker.
So there he is, voter. Keith Mars hasn't always been perfect, but he's always put that snarky little kid first on his list of priorities. Plus, the man does make a killer gumbo, and to us, that counts for something.
All bios: 3.20 3.17 3.14 3.07 3.06 3.02 3.01 2.22 2.21 2.20 2.13 2.01 1.22 1.18 1.05 1.01
Enrico Colantoni plays Keith Mars.