Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson is keeping his word and charging the Mitt Romney presidential campaign $25,000 for a political rally Feb. 6.
The sheriff’s office announced Feb. 2 it would be charging for extraordinary security measures during political events this campaign season. Just four days later, Romney paid a visit to Arapahoe High School on the eve of Colorado’s Republican caucus.
The personnel and equipment used for security during the rally at the Centennial school cost the sheriff’s office $25,050.79, Robinson said. In accordance with the sheriff’s office decree, the bill was sent to the Romney campaign Feb. 17.
Robinson, a Republican, said he doesn’t expect to hear back from the campaign for a while.
The sheriff’s office will continue to charge political candidates for public rallies that require a boost in security for the duration of campaign season, Robinson said. The invoices will include charges for event planning, personnel deployment, crowd control, traffic management and equipment usage. These costs have historically fallen on local and state governments, which fund police and fire departments, sheriff’s offices and emergency medical services.
“It’s not the Romney campaign I’m focused on, it’s all the political campaigns that require extraordinary security measures,” Robinson said. “This is not political and this is not partisan, this is keeping my promise of being a good steward for taxpayer dollars.”
The Romney campaign did not immediately respond to telephone or email requests for comment Feb. 17.
Arapahoe County is expected to be a hotly contested battleground in the national political arena this year.
The county voted for Republican George W. Bush in 2004 but chose Democrat Barack Obama — both of whom won their presidential races — in 2008. Arapahoe is the third largest county in Colorado, with a population of 572,000. There are 354,670 registered voters, including 113,585 Republicans and 121,144 Democrats, according to the county clerk’s office.
In the Feb. 7 Colorado caucus, Romney finished second to Rick Santorum. But the former Massachusetts governor won Arapahoe County.