Democratic commissioner endorses GOP colleague
Commissioner Michael Gallagher, a Democrat, announced Sunday he will back Republican Commissioner Tom Stone, the incumbent in this fall’s race. Stone faces challenges from Democrat Gerry Sandberg and Laurie Bower, who is unaffiliated with either party.
Gallagher said crossing party lines for the endorsement wasn’t a big step.
“I don’t think I was hired by the people of Eagle County to take care of the party. I was hired to take care of the people,” Gallagher said. “For that reason I’m voting for, and supporting, Tom Stone. Of the three candidates, he has the most to offer the people of Eagle County.”
Gallagher and Stone have comprised two-thirds of Eagle County’s Board of County Commissioners for almost three years. The pare have been joined at different times by Republican Johnnette Phillips and current Commissioner Arn Menconi, a Democrat.
“I’ve worked with him for two and a half years,” said Gallagher. “While we don’t agree on everything, his efforts have always been on behalf of the people. That proven ability and experience are too valuable to lose.”
Stone said he is honored to have Gallagher’s endorsement.
“It has been a real pleasure to work with someone as knowledgeable as Michael about the county,” said Stone. “I hope we can continue to serve Eagle County together. I think we compliment each other’s strengths.”
Gallagher remained in the Democratic fold with his support for Eagle County Sheriff. He said he’s supporting Democrat Bill Kaufman in his race with Republican Joe Hoy.
“The other race I think is important for Eagle County is the sheriff’s race,” said Gallagher. “For that I’m very strongly supporting Bill Kaufman as the best candidate. He has the breadth of law enforcement experience. He has demonstrated his leadership in various roles, and would by far make the best sheriff for the people of Eagle County.”
Gallagher said this year’s crop of candidates is among the strongest he has seen.
“I want to thank all candidates for all offices for their citizen involvement,” he said. “This is the kind of dedication that helps us remain a government of the people, by the people and for the people.”