Aug 11, 2010 9:58 AM by Andy Koen
El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa won the Republican Primary for re-election Tuesday night in a landslide victory capturing 73 percent of the vote over his challenger, Monument Police Chief Jake Shirk.
The victory caps off an eventful primary contest that began in mid-January with Maketa's announcement that he wouldn't seek a third term in office.
Very quickly other candidates jumped into the race including Shirk and a former deputy of Maketa's, Lt. Todd Evans. A month later Maketa re-entered the race and Evans dropped out, citing a personal medical issue.
At his victory party at the Old Chicago restaurant on Woodmen Road, Maketa said he'd been re-energized by the support of the community.
"I've got my family firmly behind me and I've got a great campaign team that's just worked their tails off, and it was really about getting the message out there as to what we are doing and the things we are doing for the community," Maketa said.
Shirk stayed in the race and campaigned on a platform of increasing patrols without raising taxes. From then on the debate for the sheriff's race centered around county budget issues and a review of priorities.
In conceding to Maketa, Shirk said he feels that his campaign pushed the issue of increasing patrols to the point where the Maketa needed to take action.
"I think the sheriff now realizes that there are some issues out there that the people are very interested in and we've already started to see some of those changes," Shirk said.
But Maketa argued that he is already doing everything he can to strecth the money that is budgeted to his office.
"We do the best with what we have and we'll continue to do that. and we've done things to beef up and actually reduce response times and I think when you look at the facts you find out that a lot of things have been done right and the community is happy with the overall service," Maketa said
There is no Democratic candidate in the race. However, Maketa will face independent. John "Doc" Holiday in his bid for reelction in November.