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Publish Date: 10/8/2006

Pelle, Shaffer square off for Boulder County sheriff


BOULDER — Sheriff Joe Pelle and returning opponent Bo Shaffer will again square off for the county’s top law-enforcement position in November.

But Shaffer, who made an unsuccessful bid for the job in 2002, said in August he doesn’t foresee victory in his future.

“I don’t think I’m going to win. I’m not running against Joe. ... He’s a pretty great sheriff,” Shaffer said, noting that he’d keep Pelle around if elected. “He just needs to be more Libertarian.”

Earlier this year, Shaffer said that if he wins the election, he’d make Pelle undersheriff.

“That way, whoever you vote for, the right man is going to be in the job,” he said.

Shaffer, 54, said he considers himself an independent Libertarian after quitting the party earlier this year under pressure from party leaders.

“I do not follow party lines. I follow my own lines and do what’s best for my constituents,” Shaffer said. “And that’s why they booted me out of the party.”

He is a publicly elected commissioner of the Left Hand Water District and won the first Libertarian primary in Colorado in 2004 during his bid for state Senate District 17. Democrat Brandon Shaffer won the race.

Bo Shaffer also boasts national notoriety as keeper of the “Frozen Dead Guy,” a cryogenically frozen man whose body sits in a shed in Nederland.

This race will again give Boulder County residents a choice to vote Libertarian, rather than just keeping things the way they are, Shaffer said.

Pelle said in August that if he is elected again, it will be “more of the same” in Boulder County.

Saying he stands on a first term that includes several successes including securing funding for a jail expansion, Pelle said, “I think I’ve done a competent job.”

He continued, “I’m open and approachable for people, and I’m going to let the record speak for itself.”

Since being elected in 2002, Pelle has secured money for a county detoxification center, created positions for a full-time crime analyst and computer-crimes analyst, and led a successful jail-expansion campaign.

“The sheriff’s office is seen in a very good light in our community, and though I don’t want to take all the credit for that, I believe I helped contribute to that,” Pelle, a 26-year veteran of law enforcement in Boulder County, told the Daily Times-Call earlier this year.

Pelle said he hopes to establish a community-based sentence facility that would consolidate the work release and halfway house programs in the county.

“The jail would be a secure facility and have more capacity without adding additional square footage,” he said.

He said he’d also like to increase deputy availability in the county’s mountainous areas.

Amanda Arthur can be reached at 303-684-5215, or by e-mail at aarthur@times-call.com.

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