Good News: Aspen Undersheriff Enters Sheriff's Race

Last week I wrote that Aspen's much beloved, long-time sheriff, Bob Braudis, decided not to run for re-election. He's been Sheriff for 24 years and a great one, who believes, among other things, the best jail is an empty one.

I was troubled that Aspen police officer Rick Magnuson, whose views are light years from Braudis, and who unsuccessfully challenged Braudis (with some dirty tricks) immediately announced he would run for the job in November. (Braudis raised 10 times the amount of money Magnuson raised in 2006, which tells you something about how the locals feel about their sheriff.)

Good news, Undersheriff Joe DiSalvo has thrown his hat in the ring. DiSalvo is a good guy who shares Braudis' enlightened philosophy. Like telling the DEA to stay out of Dodge. [More...]

Calling his office the best sheriff’s department in Colorado, DiSalvo spoke of the department’s tolerant and humane outlook in how it deals with the public.

“We don’t hassle people, we don’t screw around with people,” DiSalvo said. “I think that’s important.”

He also said he wouldn’t be changing the department’s policy of not engaging in undercover work. “It erodes a lot of trust in the community,” he said. “It makes us all suspicious of each other.”

Braudis is totally supporting DiSalvo.

Braudis, who will retire in January after 24 years as sheriff, said having DiSalvo waiting in the wings made his decision not to run for another four-year term that much easier.

“My succession planning started four years ago,” Braudis said. “If I didn’t have a Joe DiSalvo, I would have agonized more (over deciding to retire) and I might have reached another decision.”

Finally, an upcoming election I can get excited about. DiSalvo, 50, has been with Braudis and the Sheriff's Department since 1987 and is the best choice to succeed Bob. We'll be doing our part to help him get elected.

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