Jeffco Republicans overwhelmingly chose longtime Sheriff’s Office veteran Jeff Shrader in the race to replace term-limited Sheriff Ted Mink in the June 24 primary election.
Shrader captured 60.8 percent of the vote to defeat Jim Shires, who had 39.2 percent. Shrader, who has no Democratic opponent in the November election, becomes the front-running favorite to take over for the iconic Mink.
Libertarian Brett Almy and independent John Berry will also be on the November ballot in the sheriff’s race.
An emotional Shrader told supporters at his Golden home on election night that he was proud to have so many people work to help him win the primary, and that he’s looking forward to serving Jeffco residents. A 30-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office who currently serves as division chief of special operations, Shrader said the “table had been set” in the Sheriff’s Office, but there still is work to be done.
“I think the message we put out to people about how much experience matters for this job really resonated …,” Shrader said. “We’ve got a lot of issues to address, like deputy attrition. But we’re going to do everything we can to address those concerns.”
Mink said he was proud to have endorsed Shrader.
“I’m thrilled. Certainly Jeff is the most experienced leader, and he’s well experienced to lead the Sheriff’s Office in the right direction in the future,” Mink said.
Shires, a 28-year veteran and sergeant with the Sheriff’s Office, had focused his campaign on his experience and the need for new leadership for dealing with problems like deputy retention. Shires didn’t return a call seeking comment after the primary.
In other primary races, Republican state Rep. Justin Everett fought off a challenge in House District 22 in South Jeffco. Everett defeated Loren Bauman, a co-owner of Jared’s Nursery, 70.9 percent to 29.1 percent. Bauman also lost to Everett in 2012’s GOP primary.
“I’m truly honored the citizens chose me to represent our district. This was a true team win; our grassroots volunteers were simply incredible. It’s clear that this is a conservative seat, and I represent our district’s values at the legislature,” Everett said. “With the increase in support from 2012, our incredible grassroots team, and our conservative message, I believe we’re in a better position than in 2012. This should translate into a victory in November.”
Everett will face Democrat Mary Parker in November in one of several key races, with the Democrats currently controlling the Senate by a single seat.
In state Senate District 22, GOP voters picked Tony Sanchez over Mario Nicolais by an overwhelming 6,734 votes to 3,387. Sanchez will challenge Democratic incumbent Andy Kerr in November’s election.
“I think people are sick and tired of too much government and politics as usual. They want someone who is very clear, someone who is very attentive to their needs. There’s a feel that Andy Kerr and other state senators are out of touch,” Sanchez said. “In particular, (on) the TABOR issue, we want our voices to be heard.”
Kerr is one of several state legislators and private citizens who are suing to have the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights ruled unconstitutional.
Meanwhile, in the Jeffco assessor race, Ron Sandstrom defeated Deputy Assessor Lou D’Aurio, 25,062 votes to 12,489, to become the GOP nominee. Sandstrom, who has represented taxpayers in disputes with Jeffco, based much of his campaign on taking the Jeffco’s assessor’s office in a new direction.
On election night, D’Aurio said he was going to call Sandstrom to congratulate him and offer to continue to serve as deputy assessor, if Sandstrom wins in the November general election. Sandstrom will face Democrat Andrew Hassinger and Libertarian Patrick Sullivan in November.