Jeffco Commissioner Vacancy Attracting Lots of Interest

Faye Griffin

Last week we told you about the upcoming Republican vacancy committee in Jefferson County to fill the seat of serial office-jumper Faye Griffin (left). We've since heard a number of rumored candidates who may apply before the Dec. 29th deadline, as well as some interesting — if not terribly surprising — news about the vacancy committee itself.

First off, the Jefferson County Republican Party website claims that they have a 7-member vacancy committee that will decide Griffin's replacement (once she is sworn-in, again, as Clerk and Recorder on Jan. 13). But the vacancy committee could be ripe for a challenge itself; according to results from a Central Committee Meeting in June, the Jeffco GOP only appointed five people to its vacancy committee after Bill Tucker resigned as Party Chair following a bitter and contentious battle with supporters of Dudley Brown's Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) group. E.V. Leyendecker is the current chair of the Jeffco GOP, which makes county government matters particularly sticky given that Leyendecker publicly called on Republican Assessor candidate Ron Sandstrom to resign as a candidate in September when it was revealed that Sandstom owes the federal and state government nearly $100k in back taxes.

This could create quite a conundrum for Jeffco Republicans as the list of potential County Commissioner candidates grows longer. Current County Treasurer Tim Kauffman is indeed eligible to be selected by the vacancy committee, having met the minimum residency requirement. Two other well-known Republican names surfaced over the weekend as likely applicants to fill the vacancy: HD-27 Rep. Libby Szabo and failed 2014 State Senate candidate (SD-20) Larry Queen.

As we have discussed before in this space, Jeffco Republicans could actually end up filling two of the top county government jobs depending on how things shake out. If Republicans elect to go with Kauffman as Griffin's replacement, they would then need to fill (via vacancy committee) the County Treasurer position that Kauffman would subsequently vacate. In that scenario, term-limited Jeffco Assessor Jim Everson will likely campaign to replace Kauffman as Treasurer. Of course, all of this assumes that there is not a mix-up with the formation of the vacancy committee, which would only bring more clowns to the circus.

There's a good reason why you should care about all of this — we're talking about a complete runaround on Democracy that Jeffco Republicans have been influencing for the last decade-plus. Jefferson County is home to more people than the entire state of Wyoming, yet a 3-person majority may soon decide how to fill 2 of the 7 countywide elected positions in Jeffco. We understand that this is how the process has been set up to deal with vacancies, but maybe it's time to take another look at those rules and regulations. For a Republican Party that spent countless hours crowing about ballot integrity in 2014, they've been awfully quiet about a pending vacancy committee that will effectively disenfranchise every voter in Jefferson County.

13 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JeffcoBlue says:

    Come on, press, do your jobs. This is slimy as fuck and it deserves coverage.

  2. Craig says:

    Just can't accept the the voters will.  ColoradoPols has been trying to push this non-issue for the past four months.  They even got an editorial in the paper which shall not be named.  The result, Faye Griffin got more votes than any other candidate in Jefferson County who was opposed by a member of the opposite party.  (And by the way, Kaufman got more votes than anyone, though he was unopposed and Sheriff candidate Schrader got the second most being opposed only by a libertarian).  You guys are just spitting in the wind.  Jeffco voters know what they are doing and who they like.  They like Faye Griffin, a lot and they don't give a darn about your "faux" issue.  Finally, it's not like Democrats haven't filled vacancies in this manner.  Talk to me about how the Dems avoided a recall by having one member resign to be replaced by someone else who couldn't be recalled and then lost the 2014 election.  Talk about non-sense.  The voters see right through you.  That's part of the reason that the Dems lost two Senate seats and the Senate majority in Colorado this year.  Forget this penny-ante stuff, it doesn't work.  Focus on the real issues and frankly get tough and nasty.  Don't believe the crap about being above going negative, because, frankly, it doesn't work – See Senators Waters, Walters, Woods or whatever the hell her name is and Neville.


    • Colorado Pols says:

      Weird how such a "non-issue" has gotten so much attention, (including the Denver Post).

      • BlueCat says:

        It's an issue for those on the inside or with an interest in the insider stuff. As such perfectly legit for discussion on this blog. You can probably also fit the number of those who plow through the Post's political news when it's not even election time in a phone booth, too but ColPol participants would certainly be stuffed into it. That's what we're here for, right? 

    • BlueCat says:

      I do agree that focusing on this kind of thing does Dems absolutely no good since you could fit into a phone booth the number of voters who are even vaguely aware of such inside inside inside baseball stuff. Let's worry about  US House and Senate races, the lowest level that registers at all with your average voter and especially with those who will will come out in 2016 only because it's a presidential year. Most voters have no idea who fills theses offices or who represents them in the state legislature. Not a clue in the world.

      On the other hand, Craig, this is a site for those who do follow this kind of thing so of course it will be discussed. Everything we discuss doesn't have to be vital to electoral politics.  Especially between elections. It's a political junkie blog not a Democratic party campaign site. Why shouldn't we indulge in inside baseball discussion on  political discussion blog? Pretty sure most of us know perfectly well that nobody cares about this stuff but the tuned in few but that's us so please chill.

      • Craig says:

        Because, Blue Cat, this kind of discussion only encourages the rampant paranoia among Jeffco Democrats which continues to really, really hurt the Democrats chances of controlling the courthouse.   And because, the person who keeps writing this crapola is a Jeffco Dem himself.  And because, the person who writes this crapola knows nothing about what's really going on in the Republican Party with respect to these offices, something I'll try to explain when the dust settles on all these movements.

  3. Craig says:

    And PS. Do you really have no idea what's driving this? It has nothing to do with Democrats at all.  Think about it or quit posting as if you know anything at all about Republican politics in Jeffco and sign off as anything other than the Jeffco Dems griping room.

    • BlueCat says:

      See above. What's wrong with griping as long as we don't delude ourselves about the impact? 

      • Craig says:

        See above.  And quit griping.  It's the law and Dems use it to, though not as successfully.  All you want to do is gripe.  What about doing something about it.  If Dems really wanted to do something about this horrible thing, then they had a number of years where they controlled the whole statehouse, but didn't do anything.  It's the hypocricy that kills me.  It's OK for a Senate seat in Jeffco, but not OK for the Courthouse.  Nonsense.  How about getting off your asses and doing something about it rather than just griping????????

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