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Elections around the corner

Teak Simonton

Well, here it comes again! Is everybody ready for another partisan election season? This coming November, voters in Eagle County will elect a new commissioner for District 3, and will also decide to retain or replace the current clerk and recorder, assessor, treasurer, sheriff, coroner and surveyor. State races will include governor and state representatives, and there will inevitably be many state amendments, referenda and local special district issues and candidates. Lots of important decisions to be made!The nomination process for county offices begins on March 21, when the Republican and Democratic parties will hold their precinct caucuses. That will be the first opportunity for folks affiliated with a party to get involved and hear their party’s candidates speak about their qualifications and reasons for running. Delegates for each party will be elected. This is a great way to learn more about the political process. Information on the location and times of these caucuses will be available on our Web site and post in the local papers as soon as it is provided by the parties. Within 30 days of the caucus, each party will hold its general assembly, and it is then that the delegates vote to determine who will be on the ballot for their party in the primary election. Candidates who receive at least 30 percent of the vote at these assemblies will move on to the primary ballot. If a candidate receives more than 70 percent of the vote, they will be the only name on their party’s primary ballot for their office. For Republican and Democratic candidates it is a very exciting and somewhat nerve-racking process, to say the least! Unaffiliated candidates can also qualify for the November ballot by circulating a petition and obtaining the requisite number of signatures. The number of signatures required is different for each position, and there are filing timelines that must be followed, so it would be best if you contact our office for the pertinent details.There are currently two candidates running for commissioner: Roger Brown, who is unaffiliated and lives in Gypsum; and Hugo Benson, a Republican also from Gypsum. Both will be vying for Commissioner Tom Stone’s seat, as he is term limited. Karen Sheaffer is running for her fourth term as treasurer ,and Joe Hoy is running for his second term as sheriff. Also running for second terms will be county Assessor Joyce Mack, Coroner Kara Bettis, and yours truly. I will also be running to continue to serve you as clerk and recorder. We have not yet heard from Surveyor Dan Corcoran. As yet, no one has filed their intent to run against any of these incumbent positions. If we appear a bit red in the face, it’s because we are all holding our breath!Please keep in mind that if you are affiliated with any qualified party and you intend to vote in the primary, you cannot change your affiliation within 30 days of the primary. If not affiliated, you may choose a party at the polling place and vote on the day of the election. Both the primary and general elections will be polling place elections this year. Should you prefer for any reason to vote by mail, it’s easy to request an absentee ballot. The primary election will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 8, and the general election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 7. Specific information on polling locations will be available early this summer. Early voting will be possible at our three office locations: Eagle, El Jebel and Avon, which has been added this year to make it more convenient for residents or commuters at that end of the valley. No matter where you live, you can vote early in person at any of these locations, or with an absentee ballot. The Clerk and Recorder’s Office works hard to dispel the cliche that “government efficiency” is an oxymoron. Productivity, accountability and excellence in customer service have been the cornerstones of our approach for many years, and I continue to be proud of our efforts. I am especially committed to ensuring a fair and honest election process for the people of Eagle County. Your comments and questions are always welcome, and I hope will not hesitate to contact me at 328-8728, or at teak.simonton@eaglecounty.us if I can help in any way.Teak Simonton is the Eagle County clerk and recorder.Vail, Colorado


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