Sheriff candidate preaches peace, love, warrior mentality
Paramroop Singh Khalsa has declared his intentions to dethrone current Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario as a write-in candidate for the office.
“I get to spend a lot of time meditating and enjoying life in a different way,” Khalsa said. “We’re living in a present scenario of war where everybody’s the bad guy … our current sheriff with his fancy toys, I mean it’s just crazy and us as taxpayers are paying that money.”
Khalsa’s own run-in with Garfield County sheriff deputies, particularly the unkind manner in which he felt he was treated, as well as the fact that Vallario, who Khalsa described as a “war dinosaur,” was running unopposed, triggered his long shot, write-in campaign.
“When I got my primary ballot and the present sheriff was not contested, I said this is crazy and I’ve got to do something,” Khalsa told the Post Independent.
A former business owner and a current, practicing Sikh, faith and spirituality now play a pertinent role in Khalsa’s life; a role he would like to also see rolled out in the Garfield County Sheriff’s Department.
“They are brutal,” Khalsa said. “That’s why I am here because I had a brutal scenario when I was arrested by the deputies, and that’s what I am here to change.”
While Khalsa did not speak much to the circumstances leading to his arrest, he did go into detail regarding how he felt he was treated.
“I also wear a turban, so I had this thing about being a minority,” Khalsa said. “They were really quite brutal.”
Obviously, Khalsa refers to the Garfield County Sheriff’s Department time and time again as brutal — which the Oxford English Dictionary also defines as, “savagely violent.”
“The days of fortresses and big military equipment are done, the war is over. Peace lives in Garfield County,” Khalsa stated. “The world is changing rapidly and unless we elect Khalsa as our next Sheriff we will continue to pay … pay for old systems, brutality by the deputies, services received by a non-friendly and prejudiced system lead by their present leader.”
Current Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario did not know who Paramroop Singh Khalsa was but did not necessarily write off the write-in candidate.
“You never want to just completely discount an opponent, however, someone with a write-in campaign, it’s going to be difficult for them to, I think, overcome somebody that’s had 16 years of experience and been elected four times,” Vallario said. “It’s not something that I think you can make a mockery of. I think it’s very serious and a very difficult position and I think it requires a lot of law enforcement background.”
A Sikh and a gun owner, Khalsa hopes 10,000 Garfield County voters will write just that, “Khalsa,” in the blank space under Democrat for Sheriff despite having no law enforcement experience.
“What I can tell you is being a sheriff requires a lot of experience, in law enforcement, in leadership, in management; it’s a dangerous job, not only mine but the people that I work for,” Vallario explained. “The decisions I make can … be life or death decisions, certainly, by putting people out in dangerous situations, patrol and drug task forces etc.”
While Vallario, himself, defeated an incumbent for the position and has since enjoyed several re-elections, the Sheriff, safe to say, has probably never faced off against an opponent quite like that of Khalsa.
When informed how Khalsa would like to bring a mindset of peace and love with a warrior outlook to the office Garfield County’s current Sheriff of 16 years replied, “Given that description I have no idea what he means.”
Recounts rarely shift the margin in a race beyond a few votes, which is why Frisch conceded in the closer-than-expected contest.
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