If incumbent Garfield County Coroner Trey Holt wants to retain his elected post of 20 years, he will have to petition his way on to the Republican primary ballot in June.
Holt did not earn the 30 percent of delegates at the March 15 Garfield County Republican Party Assembly in Glenwood Springs to automatically advance to the June 24 primary.
Instead, challenger Rob Glassmire won the delegate vote 77-27 to be the party’s nominee for the coroner’s office, according to Garfield Republican Chairman David Merritt.
Holt’s delegate count was enough, however, for him to still petition onto the primary ballot, if he so chooses. Holt could not be reached for comment Thursday regarding his intentions.
If he chooses not to continue his candidacy, that means Glassmire, an investigator with the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and Battlement Mesa resident, would earn the Republican nomination to run for coroner in the November general election.
No Democrats have stepped forward to run for the position, which is charged with coordinating with law enforcement to investigate and determine the cause of death, especially involving suspicious incidents.
In announcing his candidacy last month, Glassmire criticized Holt’s running of the coroner’s office, calling him an “absentee elected official” and questioning his policy of delegating all investigations to a team of deputy coroners.
Holt owns the Farnum-Holt Funeral Home in Glenwood Springs, and has held the coroner’s office since 1994. He was a deputy coroner himself for four years prior to that.
“We thanked Trey and gave him a standing applause for his many years of service,” Merritt said, adding he had not been advised by Holt if he plans to petition onto the ballot.
County Republicans also nominated candidates for other county offices for which there were no contests, including Silt resident Karla Bagley for the treasurer’s office. Bagley works as chief deputy public trustee in the Eagle County Clerk and Recorder’s Office.
Longtime incumbent Garfield County Treasurer Georgia Chamberlain, a Democrat, informed her party’s leaders in January that she plans to retire after her current term is up in January and will not be running for re-election. Chamberlain has held that post since 1986.
Incumbent Republican office holders earning the party’s nod to run for re-election at the March 15 assembly included District 1 County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky, who will be seeking a second term in office, as well as Sheriff Lou Vallario, Assessor Jim Yellico and Surveyor Scott Aibner.
Likewise, county Democrats held their assembly on March 15, nominating challenger Michael Sullivan to run for county commissioner, and re-nominating incumbent Garfield County Clerk and Recorder Jean Alberico to run for re-election.
Sullivan, an appointed member of the county’s planning commission and a resident of Spring Valley, announced his bid for the commissioner’s seat last month.
County Republicans also passed two resolutions at their assembly, one seeking a repeal of Colorado’s new gun laws regarding background checks and a ban on larger ammunition magazines.
“Any gun controls which infringe on the ability of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms have no place in a free society,” the resolution reads.
Another resolution from the local Republicans stands opposed to the common core academic standards in public K-12 schools that are being implemented in Colorado and around the country.
“Education shall be a matter of local control, and school districts should retain broad latitude in establishing customized, rigorous and high standards and guidelines for the maximum educational attainment of all students in their local communities,” the common core resolution states.