Vallario critics team up in GarCo sheriff’s race

The Democrat running for Garfield County sheriff says the man who narrowly lost the Republican primary will be his undersheriff if he’s elected.

Tom Dalessandri says he has chosen Doug Winters for the job. Winters was defeated by incumbent Lou Vallario by just 80 votes.

Winters, a Rifle resident, is an Eagle County Sheriff’s Department detective.

“I’d only met Doug a few times over the years, briefly,” Dalessandri said. “I liked what I saw of him during this primary. I thought he was focused. He had good composure, but most importantly he was professional and courteous, and I liked that in him.”

Dalessandri said he and Winters also line up similarly in terms of philosophies. Both have criticized Vallario for the growth in the size of the Garfield County Sheriff’s Department budget during Vallario’s eight years on the job, and both called for fewer supervisors and more deputies on the street.

Dalessandri served eight years as sheriff before being defeated by Vallario in 2002.

Vallario said of Dalessandri’s alliance with Winters, “I’m running against Tom. I’m not running against Doug.”

He said his campaign strategy continues to be getting the message out to voters about the services his office has provided and wants to continue to provide.

“We’re just going to focus on the fact that we’re going to stand on eight years of success,” he said.

Winters said he continues to hear from people in the community who are upset with the current sheriff’s office.

“I’m excited for what the future holds and the direction that Tom wants to go,” he said. “… We’ve been listening to the people, and the people are speaking loudly, we feel.”


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