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DA term limits extension fails

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado – Voters around the region decided not to give the district attorney more time in office, rejecting a ballot question that would have extended the term limits to three terms, up from two four-year terms.

District Attorney Mark Hurlbert asked that the question be put before voters, but said it went beyond him.

“This was not just about me,” Hurlbert said, adding that experience is valuable in criminal prosecution, and that it would be a benefit to future district attorneys.



Still, Hurlbert was graceful when the results became clear.

“I’m certainly disappointed , but I’m glad the question got to a vote,” he said.



Hurlbert tried to put the question before voters in the 2009 election cycle. It needed approval by the county commissioners in all four counties that comprise Colorado’s Fifth Judicial District, Eagle, Lake, Summit and Clear Creek counties. Three approved it. The Lake County commissioners did not.

This time, all four sets of commissioners opted to put the question before voters. It lost by around 5,000 votes.

“Ultimately the people have spoken, and giving them that opportunity was the goal,” Hurlbert said.



Hurlbert was appointed DA in 2002, succeeding Mike Goodbee. He won his first election in 2004. If a term limit extension had passed, he could have run for re-election in 2012.

Colorado is the only state in the country that term limits district attorneys. It was part of a 1994 amendment to the Colorado Constitution that limited all elected officials, other than judges, to two four-year terms.

Most district attorneys around Colorado have term limits.

Six of Colorado’s 22 judicial districts have all ready approved three-term limits for DAs, and Pueblo voters removed district attorney term limits all together.

Broomfield voters will also be asked in November whether they want to extend their district attorney’s term limits from eight to 12 years in office.

For strictly countywide offices, Eagle County voters have lifted term limits for every office except the county commissioners.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.


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