Created: Wed, 16 Jul 2014 12:32:00 MST
Updated: Wed, 16 Jul 2014 05:52:53 MST
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – A man who many had considered an early frontrunner in the race for Mesa County sheriff is now bringing his candidacy to an end.
State Senator Steve King deleted his campaign website and announced on Wednesday morning that he is withdrawing from the race, effective immediately.
King released the following statement, included in a letter to the Mesa County Republican Party, announcing and explaining his decision:
“I am saddened and it is with a heavy heart that I write today to inform you that, effective immediately, I am withdrawing from the race for Mesa County Sheriff.
“As you know, it has been the honor of my life to serve our community for 34 years as a law enforcement officer, volunteer, coach and citizen legislator. While I had hoped to continue serving our community as its next Mesa Sheriff, I believe for the greater good for all it is time to step aside.
“I would like to thank my fellow Mesa County Republicans and Mesa County Citizens for their overwhelming support each time I've run for public office. As a flawed human being, I've made my share of mistakes and believe there is no better test of a man's integrity then his behavior when he is wrong. I wish to apologize to my family, friends, community and those who have put their faith in me."
In recent weeks, King’s candidacy had come under scrutiny. It was revealed last month that King had been fired from the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office where he had been working on a part-time basis. He was accused of falsifying a timecard and insubordination when confronted about it.
Another controversy surfaced this week, with allegations that Senator King double-billed his expenses over the past few years, costing taxpayers thousands of dollars.
King’s departure from the sheriff’s race currently leaves five contenders: Pat Arotin, Ralph Hamblin, Mike Harlow, James Lange and Benita Phillips.