COLORADO SPRINGS — The El Paso County GOP has asked Undersheriff Joe Roybal to consider stepping back from his candidacy for El Paso County Sheriff.
In a press release, the El Paso County GOP cited reports that Roybal committed an “unforced campaigning error” when he appeared in a video, since removed from Facebook, showing Mel Bernstein, also known as “Dragon man,” offering $5 discounts at his gun range for anyone who signed the petition to put Roybal on the Primary ballot.
“Offering compensation to potential voters in exchange for their signing his campaign petition for County Sheriff, Roybal, crossed a legal line,” the release reads.
While Colorado’s 10th District Attorney Jeff Chostner did not elect to press charges, he indicated the potential for possible prosecution if further allegations were brought before him.
El Paso County GOP stated that Roybal’s error could harm other Republican victories and the reputations of those who endorsed Roybal, particularly officials whose names are long associated with the GOP.
“If Republicans put forward a candidate for Sheriff who has admitted to committing illegal acts while campaigning (if by mistake), especially when this mistake was caught early and solid alternatives for the position are still on voters’ radar, the party will have none to blame but itself,” the GOP said.
The GOP goes on to suggest that Undersheriff Roybal consider stepping back from his candidacy, to allow El Paso County voters a “solid” and “unvarnished” win in November.