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Clean campaigning the winner

Don Rogers

Sara Fisher prevailed over the postcards. That alone is just about the best news Eagle County could get this election.Peter Buckley finished dead last in the Avon Town Council race. That’s right up there, although this is not an indictment of Buckley himself, but of the half-truth mailers that lined up a mite closely with his campaign statements. Those mailers did him no favors.The consequence of candidate positioning sent a clear message, we hope. This kind of campaigning isn’t welcome in Eagle County. At least not in the local races. Keep it clean. Keep it positive and fully truthful as you seek to show the differences in candidacies and positions. Congratulations to the people who pushed the $128 school bond. They showed energy, laid out their needs in detail, and obviously got out the vote in a climate of skepticism about new taxes. If we could choose just one local tax increase, this was the most important.A far more modest bid to set up a fund for early childhood development akin to the open space fund flopped. So did a small library tax increase for expansion and a new home rule charter that would have increased the number of county commissioners and removed party affliation from the elected offices.The value of the “D” next to names has never been more influencial in an Eagle County election. That was no more apparent than in the sheriff’s race in which Democrat Scott Griffin got over 5,000 votes despite all the hiccups in his campaign to incumbent Sheriff Joe Hoy’s 7,200 votes. To be sure, some voters still remembered some misteps in the handling of the Kobe Bryant rape case these nearly four years later. But as far as this county voted, the ticket clearly was “D” wherever there was a choice. Call it anger at the Republican leadership in general. An entire nation pretty much delivered the same message. And that may well prove to be exactly what the GOP needed most to right its ship.Here, we were heartened to hear national commentators remark on the rise of the moderate vote. Both parties in recent years have tacked away toward the poles of their parties. Maybe the Democrats learned something – besides that Bush was a great selling point – about reaching out to that great middle. We’ll see.Dan Gibbs, Eagle County’s new representative in the state House, earned his crushing victory the old-fashioned way: knocking on doors and being involved in the community for years before running.The clash of 527-style ads between him and Leadville’s Ken Chlouber did little to enhance either’s candidacy. Next, both parties need to shut down the 527 thing. That’s the real way to do this right. Vail, Colorado


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