DA Beeson to seek re-election in 9th District
Aspen, CO Colorado
RIFLE, Colo. – Republican Ninth District Attorney Martin Beeson has announced he will seek a second full term in office, citing “a record worthy of the trust” among citizens in the judicial district, which includes Pitkin, Garfield and Rio Blanco counties.
“I believe I have a strong record of convictions and improvements in the way the district attorney’s office operates, and I am going to run on that record,” Beeson said in a telephone interview while on his way to Canon City Wednesday afternoon.
Beeson, 55, from Rifle, issued his announcement via email late Tuesday night.
He was first elected to the DA’s office in the successful December 2005 recall election against former DA Colleen Truden. He took office in January 2006 and was uncontested for re-election in November 2008.
While other statewide offices are subject to term limit rules that count serving out more than half of a previous term as a full term, that rule does not apply to district attorneys, Beeson explained.
He cited a 2000 determination to that effect by then-Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar.
As a result, Beeson is allowed to run for what would be his final four-year term. To date, no other Republican or Democratic candidates have declared for the DA’s position.
In a press release announcing his decision, Beeson referred to 10 major convictions during his six years in office that resulted in a collective 400-plus years of imprisonment. A partial list includes:
• A 48-year sentence without parole for Jerry Snider, Jr., following a conviction at a trial in Glenwood Springs last fall stemming from a hatchet murder case in Meeker.
• The 2008 conviction of Samuel Kingman Lincoln for attempted murder, aggravated robbery, first-degree assault and burglary in Glenwood Springs. Lincoln was sentenced to 90 years in prison.
• Arizona prison escapee Daniel Renwick, 60 years for the attempted murder of a Rifle police office.
• Heath Johnston, 48 years for the murder of his brother in Rifle.
• Christopher Carlyle, 36 years for sexual exploitation of a minor.
• Jesus Hernandez, 30 years for murder stemming from an incident in West Glenwood.
• Robin Clifton, 24 years for an arson spree in Rifle.
“This is a record you can trust,” Beeson said of the convictions. “This achievement has led to safer homes, safer streets and safer communities.”
Beeson noted that he also has a record of hiring “highly qualified, professional and aggressive” prosecutors. Two former prosecutors in his office have since been appointed to the bench, Pitkin County District Judge Gail Nichols and Rifle County Court Judge Jon Pototsky.
Beeson said he brought the DA’s office in the 21st century, including going “paperless.”
When he first took office, he said case files involved multiple boxes full of paper copies that had to be lugged into the courtroom.
“We now just take our laptop computers into court,” he said. “All of the information and files we need are stored in the laptop.”
Three years ago, Beeson made brief bid for the 3rd Congressional District seat that ultimately went to fellow Republican Scott Tipton in the 2010 election.
Fiscal responsibility was a key theme during that race, he said. As head of the DA’s office, he noted he has operated under budget in each of his six years in office.
“This is no small accomplishment,” he said, “especially in light of the complexities, length, and expensive nature of some of the very serious cases the office has had to prosecute.”
Beeson served in the U.S. Marine Corps before being honorably discharged in 1980, and earned his law degree from Baylor University in 1982 and went into private practice. He has also lived and worked overseas, teaching at universities in Beijing, China and Yenice, Turkey.
He now lives in Rifle with his wife and three boys.
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