Thomas announces run for sheriff

Douglas County coroner makes it a three-way race

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After months of speculation, Douglas County Coroner Lora Thomas has announced her 2014 run for sheriff.

Thomas spent 26 years with the Colorado State Patrol, starting as a civilian dispatcher and working her way up to one of the five highest-ranking officials in the department. She would become the first female sheriff of Douglas County if elected.

Using the slogan “It’s time for a new sheriff in town,” Thomas said she hopes to break up the “good ol’ boys’ regime which has been running the county since before John Elway was a household name.”

Thomas is the third person to announce a candidacy for Douglas County sheriff, and is running against two fellow Republicans: Castle Rock Police Cmdr. John Anderson and Douglas County Undersheriff Tony Spurlock.

If Spurlock were to be elected, Thomas said, she doesn’t see how anything would change. Spurlock, she said, is considered “next in line” to take over for the term-limited Sheriff David Weaver, who was appointed to the job when Mike Acree stepped down in 2005. Acree had been part of longtime Sheriff Steve Zotos’ regime before being elected in 2002. Zotos served as sheriff from 1983-2003.

“It appears to me that Tony is pretty well running the department anyway,” Thomas said, pointing out that Spurlock is often the one representing the department at public events. She said numerous deputies have come up to her in full uniform, urging her to run, stating they don’t like what is going on.

“When a regime is more concerned with power and control than responsibilities to the public, that’s a problem,” Thomas said. “We are going to find all those instances where power and control was more important than providing for the public’s safety.”

Since being elected coroner in 2010, Thomas has trimmed the budget from $1.3 million to $900,000 and also uncovered the theft of weapons and drugs from a previously unsecured evidence room, leading to felony charges against previous Deputy Coroner Carter Lord.

“When I ran for coroner, everyone said ‘don’t waste your time,’” she said. “I was repeatedly told that the office was well-run and that everybody who was anybody was anybody was supporting (Lord) and that he was next in line.

“This is the exact same situation here. I think they are all from the same good ol’ boy club and we have proven what was going on in the coroner’s office and I have made a huge improvement there. I’m just looking for the opportunity to do the same thing in the sheriff’s office, to have a fresh, new face come in and improve a department. If I was just looking for a job, I’d run for coroner again.”

For more information on Thomas’ campaign, visit www.thomas2014.org.