Beeson for district attorney |

Beeson for district attorney

Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

In the Ninth Judicial District attorney’s race, incumbent Republican Martin Beeson is being challenged by Democrat Sherry Caloia.

We believe voters in the district’s three counties – Pitkin, Garfield and Rio Blanco – will best be served by retaining Beeson in office.

In an interesting twist, Caloia was instrumental in clearing the way for Beeson to become district attorney.

In 2005, Caloia was part of the effort to recall then-DA Colleen Truden. Beeson – who had resigned as one of Truden’s deputy district attorneys – emerged as the only candidate on the ballot, though he had to defeat write-in candidate Chip McCrory.

Things certainly quieted down after the transition in January 2006, even to Caloia’s satisfaction at the time.

But she is now dissatisfied with Beeson’s performance, saying that he has “created some new problems in the office.”

We don’t believe she has made a strong enough case to warrant the disruption that a change in leadership would bring.

Deputy District Attorney Tony Hershey – who also worked briefly under Truden – has spoken out in support of Beeson, for whom he has now worked for nearly seven years.

The county’s top law enforcement officer, Sheriff Lou Vallario, apparently is also satisfied with Beeson’s performance, as campaign finance reports list him as a donor to Beeson’s campaign. The same can be said for Silt Police Chief Levy Burris.

To his detriment, Beeson’s political aspirations may have distracted him from his elected duties. In 2009, he made a short-lived campaign for Colorado’s Third Congressional District seat, eventually dropping out in deference to fellow Republican Scott Tipton, who went on to defeat three-term incumbent Democrat John Salazar.

Shortly before announcing his intention to run for Congress, Beeson made a questionable decision to appear at a Tea Party Tax Day rally in Glenwood Springs, standing on a picnic table and grandstanding about his opinions on spending and taxes.

We’d rather see our area’s top prosecutor working for justice in the criminal realm, and Beeson seems to have regained his proper focus over the past three years.

It’s also worth mentioning that district attorney is one of the races where political affiliation has no bearing on who is the best candidate. The “R” and the “D” tell us nothing about how effective a candidate will be as district attorney.

Should Beeson win this year, he will be forced out by term limits in 2016. We can wait until then to elect a new district attorney.

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