Beeson seeks re-election as 9th Judicial District Attorney |

Beeson seeks re-election as 9th Judicial District Attorney

Pete Fowler
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Martin Beeson announced Sunday that he plans to seek re-election this year as 9th Judicial District Attorney.

“I don’t feel a sense of duty to the job,” he said in an interview. “I feel a sense of duty to the victims of crimes and to the citizens of these communities.”

Beeson contends he’s an ideal candidate who’s run the office honestly and in the pursuit of truth and justice. He believes people want a chance to vote for a candidate who stands for ideals their communities value, rather than voting for someone just to vote against another candidate.

“I have done my best to offer positive, forward-looking ideas and to run an honest, clean administration as district attorney,” Beeson said in a prepared statement. “And I think those are things that the families and taxpayers of our community value ” things that we can vote for.”

The office prosecutes cases in Garfield, Pitkin and Rio Blanco counties. The 2008 budget is about $2.4 million and includes staff raises Beeson lobbied for. Almost all the funds come from the three counties.

Beeson won the office Dec. 13, 2005, when voters recalled Colleen Truden. With nominating assemblies only three months away, no one else has said they’ll challenge Beeson.

“I’m not going to take anything for granted,” Beeson said.

Ed Sands, chair of the Garfield County Democratic Party, said, “At this point, no Democrat has surfaced to run for the DA’s office.”

He said his opinion of Beeson’s performance is “mixed.”

“I certainly supported him. I supported the recall,” he said. “I think Martin has certainly been a great improvement over Colleen Truden.”

He said as prosecutor for Rifle, he has a good relationship with the DA’s office. But he added he’s heard concerns about what some say is high turnover in the office and comments from some defense attorneys who think the office is too rigid with plea bargains.

Milt Blakey, chair of the county’s Republican Party and a former DA himself, said he hasn’t heard of anyone else who intends to run. He praised Beeson’s work.

“I think he’s done a good job,” Blakey said. “I think Martin has done a very credible job as a district attorney and we’re lucky to have him at this point.”

Tony Hershey, who left Truden’s office and came back to work for Beeson, said, “No one’s going to run against him. Martin is experienced and knows what he’s doing.”

Hershey said Beeson does a good job and has “really righted the ship since the unpleasantness in 2005.” He said raising concerns about turnover is unfounded because for an attorney, a deputy DA job is a low-paying government job, and the same position pays more with a lower cost of living elsewhere.

“I think in general the public is pleased,” he said.

Beeson said convicting criminals in serious cases has made the district a place where families and taxpayers can feel safer. He called convictions in cases including murder, sexual assaults against children, assaults on police officers, arson and drug dealers “important wins for the families of our community,” according to his statement.

Beeson also said he’s improved financial management and prosecutors’ performance during his first term, spending less than the office had budgeted two years in a row.

“Also, we have claimed our spot on the cutting edge of technology and modernization with the goal of achieving the paperless office in the not-too-distant future ” no small task for an office full of attorneys,” Beeson said.

His statement emphasized messages of truth and integrity.

“A little more than two years ago I asked the men and women, parents and grandparents, and workers and taxpayers of this district to work with me for something ” to pursue honesty and integrity with me. Why? Well, as I said then, ‘because truth matters.’ I humbly ask the families of the 9th Judicial District to continue to work with me for these same ideals this year and into the future, because truth and justice are always worth fighting for,” Beeson said.

Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121

– From his hometown of Palmdale, Calif., Beeson began his legal career at a law firm in Los Angeles, where he stayed for about 10 years and became a partner. In 1992, he moved to Colorado Springs and edited law reference books for a publishing company. In 1995, he went to work for the city attorney’s office. In 1999, Beeson taught law courses at Beijing Business and Technical University in China. He later taught at a private university in Turkey and he came back to the U.S. in 2003, eventually getting a prosecutor’s job under District Attorney Colleen Truden before resigning and becoming a vocal Truden critic. He won the Dec. 13, 2005, recall election and took office in January 2006.

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