I find the race for Jefferson County Sheriff to be rather interesting. Not because I think there is much chance of incumbent Sheriff Boyer being defeated, but just because I want to see what the platforms of the challengers are: why they want to replace Boyer, and what they will do if they defeat him. As such, I will in this post review the slate of GOP candidates (yes, although it makes no sense, JeffCo sheriff is a partisan office). For starters, here is a St. Louis Post-Dispatch/League of Women Voters guide to the GOP candidates.
The candidate with the most comprehensive campaign, at least based on what is available online, is Jason Jarvis, and he has a Facebook page (with 64 likes). His main goals are to fight heroin, address jail overcrowding, and make greater use of data collection/analysis in fighting crime. He speaks a bit vaguely about creating sweeping change at the Sheriff’s Office. One question I would ask him is, how will you make these changes within the constraints of the office’s current budget? Prior to seeing his ad in the Leader this week, I had not seen any evidence of his campaign. He has a booth at this weekend’s county fair.
Candidate #2 is Chris Borgerson, who is/was a Jeffco Sheriff’s Deputy (I’m not sure if he is still there). He has a rather bare-bones website that focuses more on his resume than on his plans, which are vague and can be found here. In the voter guide, he emphasizes fighting drugs and operating the office “using best business practices, transparency, and with fiscal responsibility. ” He appeared at a county Tea Party meeting in June and links to them from his website, so I assume he has some ideological affinity to the movement.
Next we have Kirk Ainley, a retired county deputy with a recently-created, even more bare-bones Facebook page (with 8 likes). All I can gather from that page is that “it’s time for a change.” In the voter guide, he lists his priorities as “1) More manpower on the streets. 2) To decrease drug problem in the county. 3) Work more effectively with the county council to improve the county.” He appeared at a fundraising event in June with county council members Renee Reuter and Charles Groeteke, and at a July county GOP club meeting. We can assume, then, that he is the establishment candidate in this race. I believe I saw a car with “Vote for Ainley” painted on the back window in the Arnold Home Depot parking lot.
Finally, Dan Stallman rounds out the field. His bare-bones Facebook page has 23 likes. Judging by the photo on that page, he is currently serving as a county deputy. He ran for the old county commission in at least 2004 and 2008. In this clip, he asks where the rest of the money is, but I’m not sure what he is referring to. He didn’t provide information to the voter guide (I don’t understand why people pass that opportunity up, but it happens frequently). I have seen a couple of his signs, and a bumper sticker, around the county.
One issue that seems to be under the surface in this campaign is the prosecution of Sherrie Gavan, a mom who assaulted a man she accused of selling heroin to her sun, after undertaking a great effort to help her son kick his habit. According to the article:
Jefferson County Sheriff Oliver “Glenn” Boyer said his office was compelled to turn the case over to the prosecuting attorney.
“How can we as law enforcement turn our backs on someone who has been assaulted?” he said. “I understand her intentions, but we have laws.”
Jarvis says on his Facebook page that Gavan shouldn’t have had to resort to assault, that the sheriff’s office could have worked harder to stop the dealer. Borgerson obliquely mentions this incident when he says “We also believe it is the right of all citizens to protect themselves and their children from the meth and heroin pushers.”
On a final note, I see in Sheriff Boyer’s ad in the Leader that the treasurer of his campaign committee is Steven Meinberg, who is also the undersheriff – Boyer’s second in command. While Meinberg is surely serving in that position during his personal time, it seems a bit sketchy to me for a candidate to have a subordinate serving a major role in his campaign.
And that’s the state of the race.