Justin who? might have been your first reaction to reading this headline. Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith recently raised eyebrows with an admission in National Journal that he was considering a run for U.S. Senate against embattled Democratic U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, one of the country’s most vulnerable Senators. He may be a new name to some, but he has been in the game for some time as he is serving his second term as Larimer County’s elected sheriff.
Smith made waves in 2013 as an outspoken opponent of the 2013 gun grab, along with Weld County Sheriff (now State Senator) John Cooke. In 2013, Smith laid into both Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper and President Barack Obama for hosting a “victory dance” in the wake of the gun grab. Here’s what he said then:
“In my opinion, there were marching orders from Bloomberg and from the president, ‘Get this done. We want to own some ground in Colorado,’” said Sheriff Smith at a Tuesday panel on gun control sponsored by the Denver Post. “They’ve done it. The president’s planning to come here and do, I think, a little bit of a victory dance tomorrow that, ‘We got this passed in Colorado.’”
While Smith is still considering a run, he told the Fort Collins Colordoan that his platform would revolve around national security issues. While a couple of months ago this may not have been compelling, Bennet’s recent decision to back the President’s Iran deal, potentially making our world less safe, opened the door to such challenges.
Before his election to Sheriff in 2011, Smith spent over 25 years in law enforcement. He lives in Fort Collins with his wife and children. Smith has not given a definitive date for his decision, but District Attorney George Brauchler, also a maybe, plans to announce whether he will seek the nomination in October.