KREMMLING, Colo. — A registered sex offender is running for town council in Kremmling, a small town about 35 miles north of Silverthorne.
Richard Terwilliger was charged with sexual assault on a child more than 20 years ago.
He pleaded to a lesser charge, but is still forced to register as a sex offender on the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s website.
Terwilliger did not respond to requests for comment.
“I was a bad person,” he told Sky-Hi News. “I made mistakes. I have been the lowest of the low. But I overcame and came back from that. That should count for something.”
But people in the town have mixed reactions about a felon, much less a registered sex offender, running for office.
“I kind of was shocked a little bit when I was skimming through and I saw his picture and his name,” Myki Jones said.
If Terwilliger was elected, Jones said, “That would just ruin everything in the grand scheme of things. Our entire town’s reputation would sink a lot lower in this county, than it already has.”
She sent a letter to Kremmling Mayor Thomas Clark to alert him to Terwilliger’s past and inquired if it’s legal for a felon to run for office in Colorado.
It is legal as long as felons have served their time.
“I think if somebody is a repeat one (offender), I probably wouldn’t want them on the board,” Clark said. “But if they made a mistake once, I believe in rehabilitation.
“We need to give people a second chance. So, it’s a tough issue but it’s up the people to let me know what they want.”
One of those people who also believes in second chances is Shelly McManus, who’s known Terwilliger for the past three years.
“He’s been a pleasure to deal with and he’s already paid his dues,” she said. “He’s trying to better his life and himself and I don’t think it should be held against him.”
The town’s mail-in ballots must be received by Election Day on Tuesday.