A new era officially has officially dawned in Jefferson County with the swearing-in of the new Democratic district attorney and county commissioners, whose arrival has cemented the county’s …
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A new era officially has officially dawned in Jefferson County with the swearing-in of the new Democratic district attorney and county commissioners, whose arrival has cemented the county’s leftward move.
However, the ceremony itself took a different form than is customary as Chief Judge Jeffrey Pilkington administered the oath of office to the county’s new elected officials via a videoconferencing platform on Jan.12. Surveyor Robert Hennessy, a Republican, was also sworn in for another term.
In comments she made to open the ceremony, Commissioner Lesley Dahlkemper remarked on the privilege of serving that awaits the new officials and called the swearing-in ceremony “a great day.” Dahlkemper, a Democrat, will be the only commissioner who is not new to the board of county commissioners.
“This is an occasion where we see representative government in action as we swear in the elected officials who have been chosen by the voters of Jefferson County,” said Dahlkemper. “Countywide elections matter. They directly impact what happens here at home.”
Following her swearing-in, new District Attorney Alexis King talked about the “heavy badge” that she carried during her time as a deputy DA and how it reminded her of the “weight that we carry as we serve the people of Jeffco for the next four years.”
She also echoed her commitment to carry out many of the reforms she promised during her campaign.
“We will provide alternatives to prosecution and alternatives to incarceration,” King said. “We will also seek to earn trust through our conviction integrity unit that will reconsider wrongful convictions, work towards equity and collect data that we owe to the public that we serve.”
New commissioner Tracy Kraft-Tharp, who will represent District 1 which is located in the northern portion of Jeffco and includes Arvada and the Jeffco portion of Westminster, talked about her parents and their drive to raise a strong leader woman who taught her the importance of working hard and making the world a better place.
“I’m so honored to be part of the team that will help move Jefferson County during these unprecedented times that are drawing on everything we have,” said Kraft-Tharp.
Andy Kerr will be the new commissioner representing District 2, which encompasses Golden, Wheat Ridge and northern Lakewood. He said that while the immediate focus must remain on the COVID-19 pandemic, the county must be ready to address and lead on other looming issues, particularly the climate crisis after what he called a “wasted four years.”
“Our forests and neighborhoods are in peril and Jeffco needs to be a leader in finding solutions for sustainable living,” said Kerr.
Following his swearing-in, Hennessy said he “really didn’t have much of anything to say.”
“Not my first rodeo,” he added.
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