A Big Risk And Months Of Campaigning Pay Off For New Constable

Former Gila County sheriff’s deputy quit his job to put in months of 15-hour days in the primary

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A former sheriff’s deputy who decorated campaign signs with balloons and whirligigs and relied heavily on family and friends’ volunteer support, pulled out a substantial election victory Aug. 24 in the constable race, beating out three Republican opponents.

Colt White said after 12- to 15-hour campaigning days, all the effort has paid off.

“We put a lot of work into this campaign,” White said. “Family and friends donated their time and money, so we are really excited and we are really tired.”

Unofficial election results show White winning 45.6 percent of the votes — 2,130 out of 4,693 votes cast in the Payson regional constable’s race.

On Friday, some 2,200 more ballots were still waiting to be counted. Once canvassed, the Gila County supervisors are expected to approve election results Tuesday.

White said he had “a good feeling” that he would win, especially after people he didn’t know camp up to him on the street and offered their support.

“I thought at first the race might be pretty close,” he said, “but as I got more input, I felt I had a strong running.”

White employed several campaign techniques, including cold calls, a Web site, mailers and a plethora of campaign signs to garner enough votes. The office of constable is responsible for serving criminal and civil notices, including injunctions, such as orders of protection. Day to day, the constable issues legal notices, performs administrative duties and manages office staff. The sheriff is the only other elected peace officer in the state.

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Colt White

White said he collected about half of what he needed to fund his campaign from outsiders, covering the other half with his own money. White did not know how much he had spent.

Before running for constable, White was a Gila County Sheriff’s Office deputy.

To run for office, White had to resign his post. Walking away from a job you love in this economy is a risky move for anyone, White said, but he was willingly to take the risk.

“Sometimes it is hard to take that step outside of your comfort zone, quit a job and just go for it,” he said. “I would rather have done it and lost than look back and wish I had gone for it.”

With the Sheriff’s Office, White worked patrol, drug interdictions, burglary investigations, underwater dive recovery, search and rescue and was a detective with the Gila County Narcotics Task Force.

He also served processes from the Superior Court and assisted the constable, experience he plans to take with him into office.

“It should be an easy transition because I have done similar work for the Sheriff’s Office,” he said. “I have done several different specializations in law enforcement and I see this as another specialization.”

White’s official swearing in is Jan. 4 in Globe. In the meantime, White plans to work with retiring Constable Sam Brewer, “putting in many, many hours of my own time and work to get prepared.”

White thanked everyone who helped with his campaign, especially his wife and sons.

“I really humbly appreciate everything,” he said. “It was a team effort, not a Colt White thing.”

To show his appreciation, White hung a thank you banner at the intersection of Highways 87 and 260.

As for his competitors, Michelle Dyer, Chris Harold and Kevin Christensen, “I tip my hat to them.”

“They ran good races,” he said.

The office of constable is a four-year position.

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