Steamboat Springs resident Darrel Levingston announced Thursday he will run against incumbent Rob Ryg to be Routt County’s next coroner.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Steamboat Springs resident Darrel Levingston announced Thursday he will run against incumbent Rob Ryg to be Routt County’s next coroner.

Darrel Levingston to run against Rob Ryg for Routt County coroner

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County assessor won’t seek re-election

Mike Kerrigan will not seek another term as Routt County assessor, he told county Democrats in a letter Tuesday.

“I look forward to exploring opportunities that I hope will provide me a more balanced family and personal life,” Kerrigan wrote.

Kerrigan, who was elected in November 2006, said he was proud of the work his office did during his tenure, especially in the past year.

In the previous three years, he said the assessor’s office managed an “unprecedented” workload as the county’s assessed value increased 78 percent from $812 million to $1.45 billion.

— One of the most rewarding aspects of Darrel Levingston’s professional career has been the opportunity to help people.

Whether it’s assisting people during difficult times in his role as a member of Routt County Search and Rescue or giving local families the opportunity to enjoy their lives while his company cleans their home, he’s helped others.

Levingston, 55, wants that to continue, but in a different role. He will challenge incumbent Rob Ryg, a former pastor, in November’s Routt County coroner race.

“It seems like a natural progression for me,” Levingston said. “A lot of aspects of the job are things I’ve been doing for a long time with my experience with Search and Rescue.”

Levingston said he thinks the most important role for a coroner is working with families and helping them get through difficult times, something he said he’s familiar with having served as a family liaison for Search and Rescue.

Like Levingston, Ryg brought experience helping others to his role as coroner. More than two years ago, he retired after serving as pastor of Euzoa Bible Church for 18 years.

Ryg was appointed coroner in 2004 when Dwight Murphy went to train police officers in Iraq. Ryg had served as a deputy coroner since 1997. He was elected later that year to complete the remaining two years of the unfinished four-year term. He was elected to his first full term in 2006. Ryg, 62, said he would like to complete one more term before retiring.

This is the first time he’s faced a challenger, which Ryg said he hadn’t really thought about.

“I’m not a politician,” he said. “I’m not going to be campaigning. I’ve done this job for six years. I’m going on my track record. I think I’ve done a good job with it.”

Levingston and his wife, Mary, moved to Steamboat Springs from Redondo Beach, Calif., nearly 30 years ago. They operate Clean Living Inc., which they started in 1981, and Mary also is an artist. They raised three children in Steamboat: Storey, 29, Shauna, 25, and Hunter, 22 — all graduates of Steamboat Springs High School.

Levingston said he’s reached a point in his business and family life where he’s able to pursue the role of coroner, which he’s thought about for a long time.

“It’s something I can see I can be a benefit to the community, bringing my experience and skills to be able to do the job very well,” he said.

Routt County’s coroners traditionally haven’t been pathologists. Ryg said his job is to assist area law enforcement to determine the cause and manner of death during investigations. If there are any questions, they’ll order an autopsy from a larger Colorado county, he said.

Ryg said his office typically handles about 40 cases each year. The coroner’s annual salary, which is determined by state statute, is $33,100.

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