Eagle-Vail manager running for commissioner | VailDaily.com

Eagle-Vail manager running for commissioner

Special to the Daily

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado – Another candidate has stepped forward in this year’s race for two Eagle County Commissioner seats.

One of those seats, currently held by Commissioner Peter Runyon, will be up for grabs in the November election since Runyon can’t run for a third term due to term limits. Open seats generally earn a good bit of interest from candidates, and this year is no different.

Republican Jeff Layman, currently the community manager of Eagle-Vail, this week filed candidate’s paperwork with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office. He’s the third announced candidate for the job so far, joining Democrat Jill Hunsaker Ryan and fellow Republican Johnie Rosenfeld.

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

He came to the valley in 1980 to work in Vail’s police department, rising eventually to the rank of commander. In 1998, he 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 started work as Eagle-Vail’s community manager in January of last year.

Layman said he decided to run for commissioner because this is a “critical time” in the county’s history.

“We’re still struggling to recover from the depths of a recession that’s cost us 7,000 jobs,” Layman said. “People are looking for leadership.”

Layman said he has the traits of a leader, including being well-prepared to discuss issues, and a willingness to listen to all sides before making a decision.

Layman said his experience working around the county means he’s aware of the issues facing the county, and the people he’ll have to work with.

“There’s a learning curve for anybody who gets elected,” Layman said. “But I believe I can hit the ground running.”

Kaye Ferry, chairwoman of the county’s Republican Party, said she welcomed Layman’s entry into the race. All the candidates will introduce themselves to the party faithful at the Feb. 7 Republican caucus at Battle Mountain High School, then will seek support at the party’s county assembly in the spring.

The candidates are likely to face off in a party primary election, which starting this year has been moved to June instead of August.

Ferry said while most of the interest so far is in the commissioner’s seat now held by Runyon – in District One of the county’s three commissioner districts – she’s optimistic a candidate will step up to challenge incumbent Democrat Jon Stavney in District Two.

“There are times you can’t find candidates,” Ferry said. “But people seem to be interested this year. I’m glad people are stepping up.”

Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930 or smiller@vaildaily.com.

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