Popular Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson announced his retirement today, giving six weeks notice, and naming his successor, UnderSheriff David Walcher. The County Board of Commissioner's will replace the Sheriff, but if the vote goes the way most of them do, it will be a rubber-stamp. Robinson's timing and text raise many questions. The letter did not say, "I'm going to Florida to play shuffleboard" or "looking forward to spending more time with my grandchildren". Instead, it read, "Leaving office prior to the end of my third term has always been an important element of my very deliberate and well-considered succession plan".
Robinson is hugely popular in Arapahoe County among community leaders in both parties. Readers may recall he arrested his predecessor, fellow Republican and former Sheriff Patrick Sullivan on drug charges, beefing up his image as a "non-partisan law-and-order swashbuckler". http://denver.cbslocal.com/2011/11/29/former-arapahoe-county-sheriff-arrested-on-drug-charge/
Robinson's been positioning himself as a moderate and getting media attention as an "independent thinker" for some time. Case in point: http://www.denverpost.com/ci_22427943 And here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/16/sheriff-bills-romney-campaign_n_1283242.html Clearly, he is getting good campaign advice if he is running for something.
To those who know him, Robinson appears apolitical. He is very professional and serious as he carries out his duties as the highest ranking Official in Arapahoe County. His work with FEMA and Homeland Security, his height, and his serious demeanor can make him very intimidating, but he has a sense of humor, too (I once joked with him that firefighters exist so police officers have someone to look up to. He teased right back).
Will Sheriff Grayson Robinson cash in his substantial political capital and run for higher office? Only time will tell, but he's one to watch.