Sheriff's comeback campaign advances

Clerk: Spruell petition has enough signatures for ballot

Montezuma County Sheriff Dennis Spruell Enlargephoto

Montezuma County Sheriff Dennis Spruell

Montezuma County Sheriff Dennis Spruell's campaign for a second term in office moved forward Wednesday after filing enough petition signatures to make it onto the GOP primary ballot.

Just after 8 p.m. Wednesday, election officials stopped counting signatures Spruell submitted in his petition to be included on the ballot, said Montezuma County clerk and recorder Carol Tullis. Spruell's petition included 1,123 signatures. He needed 809 Republican voters to sign his petition.

“We stopped counting at 820,” Tullis said. “The numbers have to be certified, so this is an unofficial count.”

“So much positive has been accomplished during my term of sheriff that I am not ready to step down,” said Spruell, responding to the news.

Spruell thanked the assistance of numerous supporters who went door-to-door, stood on street corners and contacted friends and family to sign his petition, and those who signed the petition.

“I am pleased the Republican party now has a choice who their next sheriff will be,” Spruell said.

Spruell lost the GOP nod to Republican candidate Steve Nowlin at last month's general assembly, in a 76 -36 vote.

Nowlin could not be reached for comment.

Diane Fox, who received 32 delegate votes, ended her sheriff's campaign, opting not to file a petition to be placed on the ballot.

The Republican primary is held June 24.

As of press time Thursday, Tullis said election officials were still examining commissioner hopeful James Lambert's petition to be included on the GOP primary.

“We have been working hard to get the signatures verified,” Tullis said.

With 43 delegate votes, Lambert lost the GOP nod to Jim Candelaria by 18 votes. Donnie Tanner, who received 42 delegate votes, did not file a petition for the Republican primary ballot.

Commissioner Steve Chappell's seat is up for grabs.