Race for Pitkin County Sheriff so far only contested county office
Two Pitkin County residents, including a former sheriff’s deputy, have filed to run against Sheriff Joe DiSalvo as he vies for a fourth term in office, according to the county Clerk and Recorder’s Office.
Michael Buglione, a former Pitkin County deputy who resigned in September 2019, filed to run Monday, and Michael Buysee, a local real estate broker and owner of a destination management company, filed Wednesday, according to online Clerk and Recorder’s Office candidate filings.
DiSalvo filed paperwork Jan. 18 to run for a fourth four-year term in office and said at the time he would run as a Democrat for the first time instead of an unaffiliated candidate. However, he said Wednesday he has since re-considered that decision, believes the job requires an independent person and has decided to again run unaffiliated.
“I still think I’ve got a lot to do,” said DiSalvo, who served as undersheriff to former Sheriff Bob Braudis and has worked for the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office since 1987. “I still think I can help, and I think the community wants me.”
A Pitkin County sheriff can serve an unlimited number of consecutive terms in office.
Buglione, who listed himself as a Democrat, has been working as a construction supervisor in the Aspen area since his resignation from the sheriff’s office two-and-a-half years ago. He said he chose to run for sheriff because of a lack of leadership from DiSalvo.
“There’s no leadership there,” Buglione said Wednesday. “I have much greater leadership skills. And I have a passion for the job and the community.”
Buysee did not list a party affiliation on his filing paperwork, though he wrote “Freak Power” underneath the party affiliation line. He said he served as a “special sheriff’s deputy” and regulation enforcement officer at the Aspen-Pitkin County airport under former Sheriff Bob Braudis 30 years ago.
“I have concerns with the airport, traffic and safety and security,” Buysee said Wednesday. “We’re going to have some fun.”
When more than two people file to run for a county elected office, the candidates first square off in the June 28 primary, which then reduces the field to two candidates for the Nov. 8 general election.
So far, of the two Pitkin County commissioner districts, clerk and recorder, sheriff and assessor offices that are up for election this year, only the sheriff’s race is contested. Candidates for all offices must gather at least 100 signatures from registered Pitkin County voters and turn them in by April 22 in order to appear on the ballot under the county’s Home Rule Charter.
The HRC effectively mandates an “open primary” system for the election of Pitkin County officers since voters need not be affiliated to receive a primary election ballot with Pitkin County officer races, according to the county.
Petitions packets will be available for candidates beginning March 28, and the petitions cannot be turned back in to the Clerk and Recorder’s Office until April 11 at the earliest.
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