It took them long enough, but the Aspen Daily News has come out for Pitkin County Sheriff Bob Braudis over his challenger, Rick Manguson.

This newspaper believes that Braudis has done a fine job as county sheriff. We point to one statistic that sheds more light on how safe Pitkin County is than anything Magnuson has produced: two decades, two homicides.

The one in which the sheriff’s office was the lead agency came in October 2001, and Pitkin County sheriff’s deputies made an arrest hours after the Thomasville murder. The killer currently is serving a life sentence in the Department of Corrections on a first-degree murder conviction.

The other one was a murder-suicide in Snowmass Village, where sheriff’s deputies provided assistance to Snowmass police.

The paper also praises the efforts of the sheriff’s office under Braudis in search and rescue operations.

The sheriff’s office continually provides aid to Mountain Rescue and other agencies during calls. Deputies have spent many nights in the wilderness looking for lost hikers and the like, putting their lives in danger for the safety of others.

As the Times says, if the cart ain’t broke, don’t fix it:

As sheriff, Braudis has kept the ship steady during trying times, from the Gulfstream crash that claimed 18 lives in 2001 to providing aid for world leaders when they visit this town to the cross-country search that netted the arrests of those involved in the Independence Pass beating in 2004.

Bob Braudis reflects the values of a community that is steeped in tolerance, compassion and fairness. His leadership is undeniable, and he has kept his doors open to both the high ranking and the downtrodden.