Deputy to run unaffiliated for county sheriff

Pat Arotin



A Fruita resident and Mesa County Sheriff’s Office deputy with 15 years of law enforcement experience said Wednesday he’s seeking Mesa County’s top cop job.

Patrick Arotin, 46, will run unaffiliated in an attempt to petition onto Mesa County’s general election ballot in November in the race for sheriff, joining a field of four other candidates to replace term-limited Sheriff Stan Hilkey.

A Pennsylvania native who worked six years for a police agency in Frederick, Md., before moving to Mesa County in 2005, Arotin has spent nearly nine years in Mesa County with the sheriff’s SWAT unit, traffic enforcement team, aside from various instructor and training roles. He’s also a Navy veteran.

“Recent local political activity has shown clearly the people of Mesa County are ready to be served by effective, qualified and capable leadership in critical positions ... leadership that owes its allegiance to the voters rather than to a party or process,” Arotin said.

A registered Democrat who switched affiliation to Republican, Arotin said he dropped party affiliation several years ago.

“Both parties seem more interested in getting their people elected while the beliefs of the people kind of go to the side,” he said in an interview.

Impacting everything from retention of employees to periodic overcrowding at the Mesa County Jail, Arotin said slashed budgets over recent years at the Sheriff’s Office will be the next sheriff’s biggest challenge.

“We have folks migrating to other agencies because of better salaries and benefits,” he said.

A Sheriff Arotin administration in Mesa County would include cooperation with federal law enforcement agencies, he said.

“The sheriff needs to make sure the citizens of Mesa County, the people he’s elected and sworn to protect, are taken care of and that includes their individual rights,” he said. “I don’t have an issue working with federal agencies as long as we can come to an agreement on what they’re doing, when they’re doing it and they notify me they’re coming if I’m sheriff.”

He added, “It needs to be a working cooperation.”

Arotin and his wife, Julie, have been married 25 years and have two children.

Unaffiliated candidate petitions must be returned by July 10.

A self-described “Constitutional sheriff” candidate, John Pennington, earned top billing for the June 24 Republican primary ballot after outpolling state Sen. Steve King on March 29 at the Mesa County Republican Assembly.

Grand Junction resident Mike Harlow is also running for sheriff as an unaffiliated write-in candidate. Harlow, along with Grand Junction resident Rocky Hutson, have also registered candidate committees with the Colorado Secretary of State. Hutson confirmed Wednesday his intent to petition onto the general election ballot.


COMMENTS

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Not Freida Cook.  Am a relative:  Well, the great thing about this country is that anyone can run for any elective office, qualified or not. Based on the material in this article, Deputy Arotin seems to be lacking in supervisory, management and administrative experience.  The job of Sheriff is about providing leadership in all those areas.  Secondly, I would have a problem with his attitude toward the Federal Government. With the corruption, dirty tricks and abuse of power the Feds are currently displaying, the only thing standing between them and the people is the County Sheriff.  I would rather see a Sheriff who puts the Constitution before the abuses of a corrupt Justice System and will firmly stand up for States Rights.  I believe that trend of Sheriff is emerging in parts of the country, including Colorado.  In the end, it will be up to the voters to decide who they want watching their back, but in my opinion Deputy Arotin is not that person.

The comment posted by “not Freida Cook” should be removed because the writer is not identified and has used another readers account, not to mention the fact that the writer is largely misinformed.

Not Freida Cook,  Am a Relative - Debbie, the last time I looked “free speech” was alive and well in America, although that might be questionable the direction the Fed government is heading.  As far as the account goes, it exists and is usable by anyone the account holder permits (That’s me).  Not that anyone cares but my interest in commenting on this topic is that I am a long time property owner in Mesa County and pay substantial taxes.  As such, I have an interest in what is happening and read the Sentinal on a daily basis.  Secondly I am a career law enforcement professional with 17 years in management which gives be some knowledge of what it takes to do or not to do the job.  Obviously, you are a friend or supporter of Deputy Arotin and that is great.  I do not know the man personally, but am sure that he is a good Deputy.  That in itself however is not enough to provide the leadership skills required for the job as Sheriff.  Leadership is a tough course to follow at best and more difficult if you have no training or hands on experience.  You have your opinions and I have mine and that’s the way it is supposed to be in a democracy.  In the end, the voters of Mesa County will listen to the campaign pledges of all candidates, examine their qualifications and then make an educated choice.  That is also how the system is supposed to work.  Best wishes.  Patrick A. Rodgers, Ph.D. - Irvine, CA.  (Now I am Identified)

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