Layman wins GOP commissioner primary |

Layman wins GOP commissioner primary

EAGLE – The county commissioner field was nailed down Tuesday when Republican Jeff Layman won his primary.

Layman topped fellow Republican Johnie Rosenfeld in Eagle County’s only contested primary outside of the Republican primary race for Congressional District 2, a seat currently held by Democrat Jared Polis, between Kevin Lundberg and Eric Weissmann.

Layman’s 1,364 votes was nearly double Rosenfeld’s 669.

It was clear who the winner would be Tuesday night just after 7 p.m., when Rosenfeld trailed by 603 votes with 150 votes left to count.

The primary campaign pitted Rosenfeld, a Minturn town council member and owner of Johnie’s Garden, against Layman, a veteran of local law enforcement who is currently the Eagle-Vail community manager.

Layman now faces independent Dale Nelson, of Edwards, and Democrat Jill Hunsaker Ryan in November’s general election.

The winner will represent District 1, the commissioner district at the eastern end of the valley, as one of three Eagle County commissioners.

“I’m very pleased. I’m very humbled and thankful that Republicans and independent voters felt like my experience and education could benefit Eagle County residents,” Layman said.

The county’s upcoming property assessment could mean even lower property values and tighter budgets, which means finding more efficient ways of doing business, Layman said.

“I’m looking forward to being part of the team that can do that,” Layman said.

The rough and tumble Republican primary left some bruises in its wake, and some work to do, Layman said.

“Some of that is to work to mend some of the hard feelings that may have surfaced as the result of the primary campaign,” Layman said. “There are some fences to mend and I want to sit down with some of the people in my party to discuss these issues in depth.”

Layman, 54, is a longtime Eagle-Vail resident, and has spent 30 years in the valley working in local police departments in Vail, Avon and Eagle County.

He came to the valley in 1980 to work in Vail’s police department, and was eventually promoted to the rank of commander.

In 1998, Layman left Vail to become Avon’s police chief, leaving in 2005 to become Eagle County Sheriff Joe Hoy’s undersheriff.

He left that post in November of 2010 and is now Eagle-Vail’s community manager.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or