Undersheriff seeks Douglas County agency's top job

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Douglas County Undersheriff Tony Spurlock announced plans to run for sheriff in the 2014 election.

Spurlock made his candidacy known Feb. 5 at the Douglas County Republican Central Committee meeting, entering what might be a three-way battle for the party nomination.

Spurlock has been with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office for nearly 33 years. His decision to run for sheriff was a natural next step, he said.

“I always wanted to be a police officer, and as I went through my career it started to progress,” Spurlock said. “When I started testing for supervision, that’s when your mind and personality changes a little and you think, ‘I can do this, I want to do this.’”

Spurlock has worked with term-limited Sheriff Dave Weaver for 31 years, and in 2005 was tapped as Weaver’s undersheriff. If elected, he intends to apply what he learned from observing different leadership styles.

“I’m still putting plans together and visions, but my No. 1 thing is I had the pleasure of working with four different sheriffs and I got good from them and bad from them,” Spurlock said. “I watched and have a general idea what do to and what not to do. What drives me is public service. I work for the people.”

Spurlock could face Castle Rock Police Cmdr. John Anderson for the Republican party nomination. In 2006, Anderson lost the sheriff’s nomination to Weaver and is considering another try. A third potential candidate, Douglas County Coroner Lora Thomas, has also fielded questions about the sheriff’s race. Neither has made a formal announcement.

Anderson has been with the Castle Rock Police Department for 35 years and in 2010 did not apply for the chief’s position when former police chief Tony Lane retired. Anderson said he expects to make a decision about running for sheriff in the coming weeks.

“I’m putting all my options together, talking to a lot of people, exploring the possibility,” Anderson said. “I’m strongly leaning toward running. It’s been the same administration for 30 years and it’s time to make a change.”

Thomas spent 26 years with the Colorado State Patrol and was the first woman captain and first woman major in the history of the agency. She promises a run for office in 2014, whether for coroner or sheriff.

“I’ve looked at a lot of different options,” Thomas said. “Right now I’m committed to working in the coroner’s office. I’ve had a lot of people approaching me when they’ve seen the success I’ve had in coroner’s office asking me if I’d run for sheriff. They think it’s time for a new sheriff in town.”