Douglas County commissioner says defeated colleague should step down

Diane Holbert, who lost in the primary, says she'll stay in office through term's end in January

Posted 6/28/18

Abe Laydon landed a victory, but attention quickly shifted to the future of the opponent he defeated in the Republican primary for the District 1 Douglas County commissioner seat. Commissioner Lora …

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Douglas County commissioner says defeated colleague should step down

Diane Holbert, who lost in the primary, says she'll stay in office through term's end in January

Posted

Abe Laydon landed a victory, but attention quickly shifted to the future of the opponent he defeated in the Republican primary for the District 1 Douglas County commissioner seat.

Commissioner Lora Thomas says Diane Holbert should step down now and allow the Douglas County Republican Party's vacancy committee to appoint Laydon in her place.

“I believe that he should be able to step in after the board of canvass meets after July 18,” Thomas said, the date election results are officially verified.

Holbert, county treasurer at the time, was appointed in April to an interim position on the three-member board of commissioners after David Weaver vacated the District 1 seat to accept a presidential appointment as the U.S. marshal for Colorado. Holbert's appointment runs through January, when Weaver's term was set to end, and the next commissioner is sworn in.

Thomas said it is not efficient to continue training an interim commissioner who will soon leave office, and that the voters had spoken.

“I'm just going to say that I hope Diane does the right thing for the citizens of Douglas County," Thomas said.

On Election Night, Holbert called the idea of resigning “wholly inappropriate” and said doing so before the general election would “disenfranchise the voters of Douglas County.”

The day after, Holbert clarified she intended to stay in office through January.

“I was elected to fulfill the rest of Commissioner Weaver's term,” she said. “I respect the will of the voters and there's still an election to take place.”

A county spokeswoman said there is no policy stipulating what Holbert must do, and the decision is hers.

Laydon, an attorney from Lone Tree, won the June 26 primary with nearly 54 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results. Laydon must still face off with Democrat Mary Lynch in the November general election. Lynch was uncontested in the primary.

Laydon, in response to Thomas' position, said it is more efficient to train one person for the job rather than two, "from a taxpayer's perspective." He also said he'd support Holbert's choice to stay in office. 

“Ms. Holbert was chosen to fill the short-term vacancy by Dave Weaver," he said. "I respect that process. I support the Republican Party of which I’m a member and I will honor whichever choice Ms. Holbert makes going forward.”

As for the months ahead, Thomas and Holbert said they would be able to put their differences aside and continue working together on the board.

“Governance is foremost in my mind,” Holbert said. “Serving the people of Douglas County comes first.”

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