Castle Rock Police Cmdr. John Anderson isn’t going to let the outcome of the Douglas County GOP Assembly stop him.
Anderson, who fell 20 votes shy of making the Republican primary ballot in what had been a three-person race for the party nomination, is officially back in the running for sheriff, and is asking voters to consider writing him in as the county’s top law officer in June when the Republican primary rolls around.
Heading into the March 22 county assembly, Anderson, Coroner Lora Thomas and Undersheriff Tony Spurlock all were seeking the Republican nod. Yet after Spurlock garnered the support of 50.4 percent of the 460 delegates who voted and neither Thomas (24.8 percent) nor Anderson (24.6 percent) got the required 30 percent to make it on to the ballot, Spurlock became the only one of three to get on.
That didn’t sit well with Anderson, who is frustrated, not just with the caucus process, which he calls “corrupt,” but also with the current regime that has been in control of Douglas County since Sheriff Steve Zotos took office in 1983.
Zotos was succeeded by his Capt. Mike Acree, who after his resignation as sheriff supported the county commissioners in appointing his undersheriff, current term-limited Sheriff David Weaver, to the office in 2005. Spurlock is Weaver’s undersheriff.
“When you get an establishment in there for 30-some years, it becomes a machine,” Anderson said. “And I think that this machine self-serves itself and steps away from what the public really needs, which is improved public safety.”
Anderson pointed to the 2011 election in which Douglas County voters shot down ballot measure 1A by a margin of 60.4 percent to 39.6 percent. Had 1A passed, it would have allowed for the county to extend the sheriff term limits from two to three.
If Spurlock is elected to the office, he said, “the status quo will continue,” adding that if Weaver also becomes the newest Douglas County commissioner “it stays the exact same, and (the regime becomes) even more powerful.”
“Right now what I need to do is remind the public that they asked for change in the sheriff’s office by voting out the possibility of a third term.
“I’m running to give them that other choice.”
With 101,164 registered Republican voters in Douglas County, Anderson said it’s a bit of a sham that a few hundred get to make a decision for all of them and said there’s a reason the caucus system is only practiced in 11 states anymore.
“I’m putting my heart, soul and passion into this, because it’s what I believe in, what I believe to be right, to have a new administration and take new direction. I’m putting everything into this thing to try to make it right.”
Anderson said he hopes that he will be able to engage Spurlock, as well as Libertarian candidate Brock McCoy, in some debates. Currently no Democrat has filed for the office, and Thomas has said she is not running as a write-in candidate.