by Pam Zubeck
El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa announced Monday evening, surrounded by dozens of supporters in blowing snow and icy temperatures, that he's "back in it" for the 2010 election.
Maketa announced on Jan. 20 he wouldn't seek a third term allowed him under a voter-approved measure that allowed the sheriff to serve 12 years instead of limiting him to eight.
After several people spoke, including former Undersheriff Teri Goodall, jail commander Paula Presley and local business leader Terry Storm, Maketa said he would re-enter the fray, which already has two Republicans who had hoped to succeed him. They are former deputy Todd Evans and Monument Police Chief Jake Shirk. No word on whether they will now back out.
Chanting "four more years," the crowd huddled outside Maketa's Costilla Street office before the announcement, cheering him to "just say yes."
"The last week and a half I've been inundated with calls, e-mails, people stop me wherever I go," he said.
"It really caused me to take a step back and think about it." He told the crowd, which included an array of elected officials including Commissioners Amy Lathen and Wayne Williams, their urging "sends a powerful message."
Maketa did not say why he initially said he wouldn't seek another term out of deference to his family who wanted to spend more time with him and now will go another round.
"There's something to be said for public service," he said. "I'm back in it."