Arapahoe County Commissioner Jim Dyer of west Centennial says the politics in District 2 and a contested Republican primary had nothing to do with …
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Arapahoe County Commissioner Jim Dyer of west Centennial says
the politics in District 2 and a contested Republican primary had
nothing to do with his recent decision to not seek a second term at
the county level.
“I’ve been in elected office for 10 straight years,” he said.
“I’m at the top of my game and that’s probably the best time to
step aside and let someone else do the work.”
Dyer, 62, was elected as a commissioner in 2006. Before that, he
served six years as a state senator representing much of the same
south metro area. He resigned the Senate position in the middle of
his second term when he won the county race.
Dyer’s decision to not seek re-election comes despite his vote
to place a ballot question to extend term limits before county
voters in 2008. It extended the board of commissioners from two to
three four-year terms.
Contrary to rumor, Dyer says he has no particular plans to
accept a private-sector position after his current term ends in
January 2011. He has not ruled out a future run for office.
“I’m kind of keeping my powder dry and looking around,” he said.
“I’m not under any pressure to do anything. A lot of people think
politics is a lifetime occupation and it’s not.”
Dyer’s exit comes as Republicans were readying for what is
expected to be a contentious and potentially expensive primary race
for the District 2 nomination.
In January, former state Rep. Lauri Clapp, another Centennial
Republican, launched a pointed campaign to challenge the sometimes
“I want to get in there and be an active commissioner, which is
something we haven’t seen for a while,” Clapp said of Dyer. “People
want someone who is going to be responsive.”
According to Dyer, Clapp’s campaign and the added need for
fundraising that came with it had nothing to do with his
“Every office I’ve ever had has had a contested primary,” he
said. “Usually, it’s between two and four people, so that’s not
something that bothers me in the slightest.”
Dyer says he is confident that he would have prevailed over
Clapp in the primary.
The commissioner won his 2006 county race after a contentious
primary victory over Republican incumbent Bernie Zimmer, whose
political fortunes were declining, and Gregory McKnight, another
In an apparent response to Dyer’s exit, Greenwood Village Mayor
Nancy Sharpe has emerged to challenge Clapp, who narrowly lost a
state Senate race to Democrat Linda Newell in 2008.
For his part, Dyer has endorsed Sharpe, a former chair of the
Metro Mayors Caucus who has built her campaign around
intergovernmental cooperation, economic development and
“She’s a consensus builder,” Dyer said of the mayor. “She has
the skills, the background and the respect of the local government
community to do a wholly credible job of being a county
The largely Republican District 2 includes parts of Centennial,
Greenwood Village, Cherry Hills Village and unincorporated Arapahoe
A Democrat has not announced for the position.
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