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Call Sheriff Jim Casias retired; just don’t call him a politician

Author: Kara Mason - April 16, 2018 - Updated: April 16, 2018

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Longtime Las Animas County Sheriff Jim Casias has announced his retirement. (Photo posted by @AroundTrinidad via Facebook.)

Las Animas County Sheriff and one-time Senate District 35 hopeful Jim Casias is calling it a career. The Trinidad native is retiring in coordination with his 70th birthday, according to a local news report.

Journalist Steve Blocks reports for the Chronicle News that Casias is taking leave later this week and officially retiring May 2:

“It is with great emotion and gratitude that I inform you of my decision to retire as the Sheriff of Las Animas County. I will be taking medical leave on the 19th of April and my official date of retirement is May 2, 2018,” (Casias wrote in an email.)

Casias went on to say, “It is fitting that on this date of May 2, I will be celebrating my 70th birthday and it is fitting to retire. I will truly miss you all and am ever so humbled in serving you as your sheriff for four terms. I have enjoyed being in Law Enforcement for 35 years. I will await what the LORD has planned for me. Thank you all. God bless and watch over all of us. Thank you ever so much.”

There’s so far no word what Casias will take up next, if anything. He had unsuccessfully challenged Republican state Sen. Larry Crowder in 2016 for his seat in the legislature.

Casias, a Democrat, was one of the 55 Colorado sheriffs who backed a lawsuit against Gov. John Hickenlooper in 2013 for signing what was considered “extreme gun legislation” among some.

He lost to Crowder in 2016 with 36 percent of the vote. During his campaign, Casias told the Chronicle News that water, broadband and jobs were issues he would have addressed at the Capitol.

Prior to being elected to sheriff in 2002, Casias held a variety of jobs in southeastern Colorado, which has served him well.

“Being a coal miner, a construction worker, a police officer, a deputy and evolving to become the sheriff of this county — I’ve always had dedication to public service,” he told the newspaper. “I’ve never called myself a politician, because I work for a living. I go out with my men, I do the job, I go to court with them, whatever comes up I work with them. I’m the sheriff, but I’m your deputy. You pay me to do what I have to do.”

Kara Mason

Kara Mason

Kara Mason covers southern Colorado, Aurora and statewide issues for ColoradoPolitics.com. She also writes for the Aurora Sentinel.