Republican Routt County sheriff hopefuls Nick Bosick and Garrett Wiggins, not pictured, spoke with residents at a forum in North Routt on Sunday evening. The candidates discussed their platforms and goals for the sheriff position.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Republican Routt County sheriff hopefuls Nick Bosick and Garrett Wiggins, not pictured, spoke with residents at a forum in North Routt on Sunday evening. The candidates discussed their platforms and goals for the sheriff position.

Republican sheriff hopefuls share platforms at North Routt forum

Republicans Nick Bosick, Garrett Wiggins discuss education, cooperation

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Republican Routt County sheriff hopefuls Garrett Wiggins speaks with residents at a forum in North Routt on Sunday evening. Wiggins and fellow GOP sheriff candidate Nick Bosick are running in a primary election to challenge Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall.

For more information

On Facebook, both Republican Routt County sheriff candidates have fan pages. Visit the page for Garrett Wiggins and Nick Bosick.

The two will debate Wednesday on Steamboat TV18. A timetable for when the debate will air has not been set, but it will also be available on www.steamboatpilot.com.

Primary information

The Aug. 10 primary is an all-mail election. Registered Republican voters, even if they are marked inactive, will receive a ballot from the Routt County Clerk and Recorder’s Office.

— Nick Bosick and Garrett Wiggins said that no matter what happens in the Republican primary for Routt County sheriff, the important thing to them is to unseat the incumbent.

At a forum Sunday at Moonhill Schoolhouse in North Routt County, each leveled muted criticism at Sheriff Gary Wall, who was elected in 2006. Wiggins, who lost to Wall that year, said he thought it was just a weak election year for Republicans. He and Wall were relatively unknown, he said.

“At that time, Gary didn’t have a track record,” Wiggins said. “Well, he’s got one hell of a track record now.”

Wall encountered controversy when he was convicted in 2008 of driving while ability impaired. He also has butted heads with the Routt County Board of Commissioners concerning budget issues.

“I’m going to run on my positive things I’ve done in my office. I’ve got an incredible record,” Wall said.

Wiggins is the commander of the All Crimes Enforcement Team, and Bosick is a detective with the Steamboat Springs Police Department. They’ll face off in a primary Aug. 10, and the winner will face Wall in November. B.J. and Chuck Vale organized Sunday’s forum to educate the community about the candidates, and about 25 people attended.

Bosick petitioned his way on to the ballot after he didn’t get the required number of votes at the Republican Assembly in April. He won 12 percent of the votes at the assembly to Wiggins’ 72 percent.

After the assembly, Bosick initially said he wouldn’t petition to get onto the ballot. A member of the audience asked why he changed his mind, and Bosick said he decided to run because of consistent encouragement from the community and his family.

Wiggins pointed to experience and passion as some of his top qualifications. He’s been in law enforcement going on 24 years, he said. Bosick has been in law enforcement for about 14 years.

The two have said they have similar philosophies about the Sheriff’s Office. Wiggins differentiated himself Sunday by saying he was passionate about being sheriff, apparently a reference to the fact that Bosick is running largely because of encouragement from others.

Wiggins said he wanted to improve community relations at the Sheriff’s Office. Although he stressed that he thinks serious crimes should be prosecuted to the fullest extent, he said sometimes deputies could soften their response.

“When it comes to minor offenses, I think we need to do a better job of using officer discretion,” Wiggins said. “I think, in many cases, it’s appropriate to give people a verbal warning or a written warning.”

Bosick said he’d like to do more community outreach at the Sheriff’s Office. He said he wanted deputies to have opportunities to meet people in the county and build relationships.

“I think that’s going to be one of my biggest goals is to work with South Routt, work with North Routt, work with West Routt and with Steamboat to put our guys out in the community, make them a resource, give them the tools to educate the community on issues you guys deal with on a daily basis,” Bosick said.

He also said he wants to find a way to place deputies at substations across the county at certain times, noting that “we’ve got to be creative” because there are only 15 deputies.

Bosick also noted the importance of educating people about problems such as identity theft.

“We’re not educating them on how to protect their finances, how to protect their identities, and I think once I get elected, that will be something I really want to focus on, trying to educate my deputies in how to provide these community education programs,” he said.

Wiggins and Bosick also stressed that they’d try to cooperate with the Steamboat Springs Police Department and other agencies.

“There hasn’t been a good, unified working relationship between those since I’ve been here,” Wiggins said.

Bosick said he thought either Republican would be able to reverse that.

“I have a very good relationship with the city, I think Garrett does, too, and I think that Steamboat, Routt County is so isolated from the rest of the world that we need to be able to count on each other,” he said.

He and Wiggins said they would work to keep the office’s finances under control, as well, and Wiggins touted the fact that ACET has maintained a 99 percent conviction rate in cases turned over to prosecutors.

Bosick and Wiggins said they planned to fully support the winner of the primary, whoever it is.

Wall said he was looking forward to the election season.

“I think this campaign is going to be really fun when I find out who my opponent is,” Wall said.

That fit the tone of the forum, which was cordial and relaxed. It began with informal mingling, and then, each candidate spoke.

County Coroner Rob Ryg, who will face Democrat Darrel Levingston and independent Kevin Nerney in November, asked for the support of his Republican Party.

Routt County Treasurer Jean­­ne Whiddon and Routt County Clerk and Recorder Kay Wein­land are running unopposed for re-election. Whiddon attended the event, asking for support and feedback from the community.

B.J. Vale said she thought Sunday’s event went well.

“I think people were in­­formed,” she said. “We’ll be doing another one prior to the general election, so hopefully we’ll have Gary Wall here along with whoever gets the primary vote.”

Comments

freerider 4 years, 5 months ago

Go Nick ,

Wiggins track record isn't much better than walls ,

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nodui 4 years, 5 months ago

Wiggins or Bosick would be a huge upgrade over what we have now.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 5 months ago

I am disappointed that Garrett Wiggins says that he lost to Gary Wall in 2006 simply because it was a bad year for Republicans. That suggests he does not understand himself or this county because his role in GRAMNET/ACET and their history of ridiculous drug busts was a major reason why he lost. I would have liked to hear that he learned from the 2006 election and that GRANMET busting mj users was a mistake.

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nodui 4 years, 5 months ago

Well wedel part of running a task force is busting mj users. This whole bs idea of legal mj is a joke. mj is a gateway drug for many people.

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localboy17 4 years, 5 months ago

freerider and wedel, you two are incredibly mistaken. Garret has a remarkable track record, then only reason Gary won is because he follows a strict "No enforcement" policy and people who are drug users and underage drinker's parents are in love with that idea. Gary wall is a complete failure as far as law enforcement is concerned, especially when he is their biggest issue. Gary is a professional victim, who will never go along with the other officials in this town, and cause nothing but headaches for everyone else.

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Bill Dalzell 4 years, 5 months ago

Not true for most localboy. Freerider and Wedel are far from mistaken. I know many, including myself who didn't vote for Wiggins due to Gramnets ridiculous history. Its not just limited to busts. Had an office next to them at one point, and I will just say I wasn't impressed with them.

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localboy17 4 years, 5 months ago

You do have to believe that finding drugs and busting people you very well may know in this town would be a difficult thing. I have to admit that I have followed gramnet as much as I should and will certainly do my research before voting, so out of respect there I will make no arguments. However, both bosick and wiggins are far better than gary are. Gary is no different than a teenager with drug and alcohol problems. Just recently he spent three days ON COMPANY TIME AND WITH A COMPANY VEHICLE AND GAS traveling back and forth to craig everyday to watch a trial that was happening there, and that he was not involved in, but simply to sit on the DEFENSE side and watch. I think he is absolutely ridiculous. When the county and the city are on furlough he goes 300,000 over his budget and argues over it, plus asks for more money. Who does he think he is? Especially while he is driving drunk in an unmarked sheriff car with a gun. I'm sorry but he should have been locked up and impeached a long time ago. A monkey could do a better job.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 5 months ago

Recall that GRAMNET busted Colorado registered MMJ user Don Nord and that case ended with a judicial rebuke of GRAMNET and a court order to return everything that was seized.

So would a Wiggins Sheriff's dept go around busting MMJ dispensaries?

Recall the String Cheese fiasco with GRAMNET sniffing around the concert for possible mj use?

That GRAMNET was such a mess that Grand County withdrew. That even recently the review of ACET found serious flaws such as giving officers "hot cash" which the report said was a bad idea for many reasons.

I am not saying Garret Wiggins is a bad guy, but it really makes me wonder if he can listen to criticism and improve or is he going to refuse to change regardless of good advice or outside expertise?

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nodui 4 years, 5 months ago

Great point localboy. Hopefully when Wiggins or Bossic take over the MJ disp. will be watched like a hawk. I personally know of guys running them giving out samples of their garbage to people who do not have MJ cards. Wall does not want to enforce anything other than bad habbits.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 5 months ago

Considering all of the criticisms of Gary Wall prior to the last election, it is not obvious that Gary is a weaker candidate this time. Remember how it was said that so many deputies would quit rather than work for Gary that the dept would collapse? Well, that didn't happen and while Gary has had no shortage of personal issues or dealing with the Commissioners, at least the Sheriff's dept appears to be well managed. RCSO has far more officers than ACET, but apparently fewer internal affairs issues and certainly no outside experts pointing out serious management flaws.

So while Gary Wall is obviously not an ideal candidate, it is plausible that those that voted for him last time will support him again and he could win reelection.

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localboy17 4 years, 5 months ago

First of all, Garret was not appointed to Gramnet until AFTER the election. Point. Secondly the only reason that there are internal affairs issues in Gramnet is because Garret Wiggins blew the whistle, talk about integrity, which by the way Gary Wall has none of. Thirdly, no one would open their mouth in the sheriffs office because they would be fired. The officer who was called to come pick our drunked, drugged up sheriff up when he was caught by CSP is no longer working for the sheriffs office becasue he would have been fired the next day had he not quit. Gary Wall has kept his office operating and without "internal Affairs" by intimidation. I hate to say it Scott, but that is not great management. While I am a Garret Wiggins supporter, I will gladly vote for Bosick over Gary if he makes it, becasue both of the republicans are trying to bring integrity and professionalism to an office which is deprived of those traits now.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 5 months ago

Wiggins was part of GRAMNET before he was appointed head of it.

The report by the CBI officer thoroughly criticized the whole idea of "hot cash". Not only was it a temptation for officers to use without proper approval, but it is a very bad practice for officers to buy drugs without consulting superiors and as part of a planned operation. None of which are possible with hot cash.

That is a heck of a conspiracy that you think is going on in the Sheriff's dept.

We can argue both sides, I think the candidate that can admit mistakes and show that he has learned will have a better chance of winning. And the more that a candidate argues that he has an unblemished record then the more that candidate discredits himself.

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nodui 4 years, 5 months ago

In the last three and half years there has been 36 people leave the Sheriffs Dept....if that tells you anything. How that for moral.

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1999 4 years, 5 months ago

i'm sure 36 employees have left city market too

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localboy17 4 years, 5 months ago

No Scott, Gramnet was long established in the community before Wiggins was, you seriously need to check your facts. My father is in the police force, so how is that for primary source? And if Gary Wall could admit his mistakes he would have submitted to a breathalizer rather than denying it and moving on. I think that if you are looking for someone who admits mistakes you should look for someone who does so.

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John Fielding 4 years, 5 months ago

.

It is pretty clear that a lot of people do not want zealous enforcement of every law on the books.

Most of the officers you ask will tell you that use of discretion is vital to maintain support.

The question is which laws would your candidate have receive priority for the finite resources.

.

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Matthew Stoddard 4 years, 5 months ago

localboy17- I think you misunderstood Wedel- he stated that Wiggins was attached to the GRAMNET force before he was in-charge of it and ACET.

Also, you should probably watch what you say about your father being a police officer (locally??) and being a primary source of information. Depending on the info you let drop on the forums, it could end up harming more than helping anyone. Just ask my old forum friend, "Numbers", as we called her. She was married to an officer and posted things here that sometimes coincided with her husband's job. It wasn't a completely good situation for them to be in.

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localboy17 4 years, 5 months ago

Never do I ask my father about any case or arrest or detail of any sort, and if I did he would never tell me. Which is the way it should be. However, if I ask him when this officer moved to town, or what gramnet is, I feel like that is something that any person could ask any other person. There is no conspiracy or dirt here, so stop thinking that primary source of information includes information that civilians shouldn't know. Maybe it's good to think that people are good at heart rather than spewing things they shouldn't to people whom it doesn't concern.

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Matthew Stoddard 4 years, 5 months ago

Make sure of it, then. After spending last summer working in conjunction with the men and women in our law enforcement divisions, I'd hate to see something like what I mentioned happen again to people I respect, so it concerns me and anyone else who has that respect for our law enforcement.

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trump_suit 4 years, 5 months ago

Local, Your inside information is suspect at best if you want to claim that Garrett Wiggins was not part of the GRAMNET/ACET abuses of power. His strong arm tactics were rejected by the votes in 2006, and hopefully again in 2010.

I will be voting for Nick Bosick. Our current Sheriff has failed to live up to my expectations in the area of personal conduct. While I like the way the Sheriff's Dept. has been run during his tenure, Gary Wall's personal conduct is not what I would expect from our Law Enforcement Officials.

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