Jeffco GOP sets application deadline to fill commissioner vacancy after Rosier steps down

Author: Ernest Luning - November 24, 2017 - Updated: November 24, 2017

Jefferson County Commissioner Don Rosier addresses a meeting of the Jefferson County GOP in January 2016, when he was running for the U.S. Senate nomination. He's stepping down as commissioner in January 2018, he announced. (Photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics)Jefferson County Commissioner Don Rosier addresses a meeting of the Jefferson County GOP in January 2016, when he was running for the U.S. Senate nomination. He’s stepping down as commissioner in January 2018, he announced. (Photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics)

Jefferson County Republicans are accepting applications through Dec. 12 to fill an upcoming vacancy on the suburban county’s  board of county commissioners.

The vacancy for the District 3 seat was created when Don Rosier, a Republican serving his second term on the commission, announced last week that he’ll be resigning in early January to head the development of a large planned community in Douglas County.

It’ll be the third time in six years a Jeffco GOP vacancy committee has appointed a county commissioner to fill an unexpired term after an elected commissioner has stepped down.

“We look forward to a fair, open and transparent process that leads to finding another excellent county commissioner who can serve Jefferson County,” said Joe Webb, chairman of the Jefferson County Republicans, in a statement.

One of two Republicans on the three-member commission, Rosier, a civil engineer, was first elected in 2010 and reelected in 2014. He faced term limits after next year’s election, when the seat will be on the ballot.

The lone Republican who has been campaigning for the District 3 seat, RTD Director Tina Francone, told Colorado Politics she intends to apply for the appointment. Lesley Dahlkemper, a former Jefferson County School Board director, is the only Democrat so far running for the seat.

Applicants for the vacancy must be U.S. citizens, at least 18 years old, registered Republicans and residents of District 3 for at least the past 12 months. The district covers Jefferson County south of West Jewell Avenue and south of the foothills communities of Genesee, Kittredge and Idledale. The county GOP has also posted a lengthy questionnaire online that applicants must fill out and submit along with a resume, the party said. The job pays a salary of $87,300.

Rosier’s new job will be general manager of the community authority board of Sterling Ranch Community, a 3,400-acre mixed-use, master-planned community in northwest Douglas County that could have as many as 33,000 residents when it’s built out. He mounted a bid for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Michael Bennet last year but didn’t make the primary ballot.

The other two Jeffco commissioners are Democrat Casey Tighe and Republican Libby Szabo, a former state lawmaker who was appointed to fill a vacancy when Republican Faye Griffin resigned as county commissioner after being elected county clerk and recorder in 2014.

The Denver Post editorial board took Griffin to task in a scathing editorial for her latest job-hop, pointing out that it was her second within a few years. After winning election as clerk and recorder in 1998 and and serving two terms, Griffin then won election as county treasurer but left that job mid-term after winning a seat on the county commission — a job she left half-way through her second term when she won the clerk-and-recorder race. (Term limits reset for Griffin because she’d been occupying other county offices for the previous eight years before taking another crack at the clerk and recorder post, which she still holds.)

Tighe became the first Democrat elected to the board in decades in 2012 when he ousted Republican incumbent John Odom, who had been appointed to his seat after Kevin McCasky stepped down mid-term to run the Jefferson County Economic Council, since renamed the Jefferson County Economic Development Corporation . Colorado’s Independent Ethics Commission later ruled McCasky violated state law by failing to disclose he was applying for the economic development job while encouraging the county to approve spending $400,000 with the organization.

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.