Three sheriffs endorse Hurlbert
EAGLE COUNTY – Sheriffs in three of the four counties overseen by District Attorney Mark Hurlbert will endorse the Breckenridge Republican in his Nov. 2 bid to keep his job.Hurlbert, who was appointed the 5th Judicial District Attorney in December 2002, and whose office spent much of the last 14 months prosecuting basketball star Kobe Bryant, is being challenged by Clear Creek defense attorney Bruce Brown, a Democrat. Hurlbert’s district includes Summit, Eagle, Lake and Clear Creek counties.Summit County Sheriff John Minor, Eagle County Sheriff Joe Hoy and Clear Creek County Sheriff Don Kruger are backing Hurlbert’s first election bid. The three sheriffs are Republicans.Lake County Sheriff Ed Holt, a Democrat, said he is supporting Brown.Minor said he has known Hurlbert since he was a deputy district attorney in Summit County.”He is a very bright and solid person,” Minor said. “I’ve worked with him closely and he has a very good relationship with law enforcement. He has an open-door policy.”Here’s a man who probably had a lot of opportunities coming from an Ivy League background,” Minor added, “but he came back to Summit County. That impresses me.”Hoy, whose deputies arrested Bryant, said he has worked well with Hurlbert.”(Hurlbert) is a good man and he will do a good job,” Hoy said. “Our relationship has improved and is improving all the time. Mark and I meet at least once a month and if there’s any issues that have come up from his or our staff we talk it over and we clear it up.” Hoy has been working with Hurlbert for almost two years – he was elected sheriff in January 2003. The two worked closely in the Bryant rape case, which was dismissed on Sept. 1.Kruger said being a Republican isn’t the main reason he supports Hurlbert.”I support Mark because I worked with him for the past 10 years and he is very easy to work with,” he said. “He responds to any issues and questions we have. I like our working relationship.”Brown isn’t surprised with the endorsements.”It’s very difficult for law enforcement officers to break with an incumbent district attorney,” he said. “I’m optimistic about my chances in November,” Brown added. “I think the voters will elect their DA based upon qualifications and I think I have the best qualifications. I’ve had many law enforcement officers speaking off the record saying they support my candidacy.”Hurlbert is “deeply honored” that law enforcement officials have decided to back him and his campaign, he said.”The sheriff and DA have to be on the same team to have effective criminal justice,” Hurlbert said.Veronica Whitney can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 454, or at email@example.com.
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