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Maketa back in the race 

Some Terry Maketa fans held their breath Monday night, waiting to see whether an evening rally might help persuade the El Paso County sheriff to pursue a third term after all.

Turns out, it was already a done deal.

Maketa, who on Jan. 20 announced he would walk away from the office, filed papers announcing his candidacy Feb. 2, a week before the crowd showed up. Which leads to the question of whether the rally actually may have been designed to scare off two Republican opponents. No Republican has ever made it onto a primary ballot against Maketa.

Former deputy Todd Evans, 42, who works security for a private school and a movie star, says he is "huddling with everyone to figure out what we're going to do." His Web site (toddevans4sheriff.com) urges supporters to become delegates at the March 16 caucuses and to vote for him at the April 10 county assembly.

Monument Police Chief Jake Shirk, 56, says he'll go the caucus route, meaning he'll need 30 percent of delegates to get on the ballot or 10 percent to petition on. Nearly 8,000 signatures are needed.

"I've got a number of supporters and money behind me," he said Tuesday. "I need to listen to their voice. Right now that voice says, 'Let's keep moving forward.'"

Shirk (whose Web site is chiefjake4sheriff.com), stressing his 35 years as a "street cop," says he'll campaign on the need for more patrols and interagency cooperation.

Meanwhile, questions about Maketa's reversal linger. On Jan. 20, he said he wanted to spend more time with his family and explore private sector opportunities. He didn't address those issues Monday night, saying he changed his mind after a flood of supporters urged him to reconsider, among them elected officials, his employees and local leaders. He didn't respond to the Independent's messages seeking comment.

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