New unaffiliated sheriff’s candidate petitions onto ballot
A sixth candidate for the office of Mesa County sheriff is in the mix.
James Lange of Grand Junction will appear on the Nov. 4 general election ballot as an unaffiliated candidate for sheriff. An e-mail dated last Wednesday from Mesa County Elections Director Catherine Lenhart says Lange gathered 884 petition signatures that have been verified, ensuring his name will be on the ballot.
He joins another unaffiliated candidate, Sheriff’s Office deputy Patrick Arotin, as having secured a spot on the ballot via petitions.
Employed for the past 11 years as an asset protection investigator for City Market and Safeway Corp., Lange previously worked as a deputy sheriff under former Mesa County Sheriff Riecke Claussen, as well as the Palisade and Fruita police departments and the former Mesa State College, according to a release from Lange’s campaign.
“Community policing,” as well as the school resource officer program, would be top priorities under his leadership, Lange said.
“The Community Policing fosters a strong relationship of understanding and respect between the patrol and community, and I believe it will reduce the unprecedented use of SWAT and of ‘military attired’ officers and military vehicles in civilian situations,” Lange’s release said.
“Confrontations will occur, but minimizing the frequency and intensity of confrontations will drastically reduce the violation of constitutional rights and resultant lawsuits by citizens.”
Lange said his employment at the Sheriff’s Office saw him working everywhere from the jail, as a school-resource officer, field trainer deputy for new recruits and in investigations working everything from property crimes to homicides.
Lange also claims specialized training in subjects such as “gangs, cults, Satanic orders and bikers.”
Aside from Lange and Arotin, the Nov. 4 ballot includes Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Matt Lewis, the Republican nominee who replaced state Sen. Steve King, the primary winner who withdrew July 16 in the face of a criminal investigation.
Three more candidates — Bruce Lohmiller, Mike Harlow and Benita Phillips — are running as write-in candidates.