Continuing a 74-year Republican dominance of the Larimer County Sheriffâ€™s Office, Justin Smith won the race with 52.02 percent of all votes from Larimer County.
The Pinyon Pine ballroom at the Embassy Suites hotel in Loveland held this yearâ€™s Larimer County GOP election night watch party. Justin Smith and his family were in attendance to celebrate his own win as well as the GOP wins in Congress.
Smithâ€™s most overwhelming feeling of the night was relief. The race was hard fought and well contested, so finding out he was ahead by 14 percent at first report came as comforting news.
Jay Harrison, the Democratic candidate, was the closest runner-up. He was unable to be reached for comment.
Smith said that his tenure starts even before he takes office. He has the next couple months to put together his management team and set up his vision for the sheriffâ€™s office.
â€œYouâ€™ve gotta build the organization so you can move into your future plans,â€ he said.
He wants to have every piece in place in order to make his transition as smooth as possible.
According to Smith, there is usually a little anxiousness among the ranks when leadership gets transferred. He said, â€œThereâ€™s always going to be a new energyâ€ and giving the staff a vision, he hopes, â€œwill get the office movingâ€ once he takes office on Jan. 11, 2011.
Jim Alderdan was present at the beginning of the night to share in the festivities and delight of Smithâ€™s projected win. Alderdan expressly endorsed his major deputy throughout his campaign to take the sheriffâ€™s seat.
Alderdan was sheriff for 12 years and created quite a legacy in the LCSO, according to Smith.
â€œI think heâ€™s satisfied because he was able to achieve a lot of things in the organization, but there just comes a time to move on,â€ Smith said.
The two of them were able to spend a limited amount of time together at the event before Alderdan left.
Smith and Harrisonâ€™s future relationship is yet to be determined, but Smith believes Harrison will leave the LCSO. As for the rest of current employees, Smith welcomes any and all of them that are ready to â€œget on board with the new plans and new vision for the department.â€
Smith won with 52.02 percent of the vote while Harrison had 39.06 percent and Bean (I) had 8.92 percent, as of 11:43 p.m.
Staff writer Justin Rampy can be reached at email@example.com.