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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Abe Laydon, who won the Republican primary for District 1 Douglas County commissioner, has worked for 15 years as a land-use and business attorney and is a senior partner at Coan, Payton & Payne, LLC. Laydon is in his second term as a Douglas County planning commissioner and has held positions within the Douglas County Republican Party. He lives in Lone Tree with his wife and three children and is a 14-year Douglas County resident.
Laydon's primary win served as as a comeback from two losses ahead of the election.
Though both qualified for the primary ballot, Diane Holbert received more votes from delegates than Laydon did at the Republican county assembly in March. Then in April, Holbert secured 148 of the 271 vacancy committee votes, compared to Laydon's 123, and was appointed to fill a vacancy on the board of commissioners through January.
Laydon said following the vacancy committee meeting his focus would be on a primary win. During a watch party held at his home on June 26, Laydon thanked voters for supporting him.
"Rest assured I'm not going to spend any time congratulating myself," he said. "I"m ready to roll up my sleeves."
More than 39,300 ballots were cast in the 2016 primary, but this year, approximately 70,260 ballots poured in during the Douglas County primary election. The county attributed the stark jump to a population increase but also to unaffiliated voters, who could participate in a Colorado primary for the first time.
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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