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January 27, 2014
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Dems face county commissioner primary

EAGLE — Three Democrats will wage a primary battle for the county commissioner seat representing Western Eagle County and the Roaring Fork Valley.

Patricia Hammon threw her hat in the ring Monday afternoon with an announcement on the steps of the Eagle County building. That forces a primary between Hammon, school board president Jeanne McQueeney and Tom Edwards, a longtime member of the Gypsum Town Council and county open space committee member.

Hammon has been with the county planning commission for 15 years and its chairperson for nine.

They’re battling to face the Republican candidate for the District 3 seat, representing Gypsum, Dotsero, the Roaring Fork Valley and Eagle’s Eby Creek Mesa.

That seat is currently held by Sara Fisher, who is term limited and cannot run for re-election.

In District 2, Republican Courtney Holm has announced that she’ll run against Democrat Kathy Chandler-Henry. District 2 is the central part of the Eagle River Valley, from Eagle east to include Edwards and part of Avon.

“I have reflected and truly recognize that opportunity knocked, and I needed to answer the door to represent the interests of this mountain community that I love,” Holm said.

Chandler-Henry was appointed to her county commissioner seat, replacing Jon Stavney who resigned to take a job as Eagle’s town manager.

“It’s government that’s closest to the people, and “I would like to do this critical job,” Chandler-Henry said. “I’ve been so energized by seeing the excellent staff in the county and the expertise in our citizenry. We’re at a critical juncture in the county, and I’d like to be part of the decisions that help secure our future.”

The election is Nov. 4. County commissioners are elected at-large by voters countywide, but must live in the district they’ll represent.

OTHERS RUNNING FOR OFFICE

Others to file their affidavits for seek political office Nov. 4 in Eagle County include:

• Teak Simonton, clerk and recorder, Democrat.

• Joe Hoy, sheriff, Republican.

• Kara Bettis, coroner, Democrat.

• Karen Shaffer, treasurer, Republican.

• Mark Chapin, assessor, Democrat.

Three-way race

Hammon, Edwards and McQueeney are all veterans of local politics.

In Monday’s announcement, Hammon said it’s the right time for her candidacy.

“This is a crucial moment in government and politics when we need active, engaged public officials who are centrist moderates and who can work across the aisle, who can bring people together through compromise, negotiation and respect. I am such a person with just those skills,” Hammon said.

Hammon spent much of her career as a nurse and served in Vietnam. She is a member of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post and serves with Roundup River Ranch, Habitat for Humanity, Hospice, the Breast Cancer Awareness Group, the Freedom Park Memorial committee, Colorado Mountain College, the Salvation Army, the Eagle Valley Family Assistance Fund and others.

“I count myself as incredibly fortunate to understand and stand behind their missions, their goals and their challenges,” Hammon said.

Edwards said he’s retired and has the time such a demanding job would require.

“I enjoy what I’ve done in Gypsum, and I can do something good for the county,” he said.

McQueeney has served on the school board for seven years and been the board president the last two years. McQueeney helped shepherd the school district through two years of budget cuts, including a series of heated public meetings that ended with 90 school district job cuts.

“I want to help make Eagle County a place where families can thrive, that our kids can come back to and enjoy the life they’ve come to love,” McQueeney said during her announcement. “I think it strengthens the party to have good candidates, and that as a party we’ll be stronger for it.”

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.


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The VailDaily Updated Jan 28, 2014 09:24PM Published Jan 28, 2014 09:17AM Copyright 2014 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.