Former clerk Fisher will run for commissioner |

Former clerk Fisher will run for commissioner

Scott N. Miller
Sara Fisher is the first Democratic to announce her candidacy for Eagle County commissioner.

GYPSUM ” It’s time to get back in.

After a nearly four-year vacation from local politics, Gypsum resident Sara Fisher is jumping back in. Fisher announced yesterday she is running for the Eagle County commissioner’s seat now held by Tom Stone, a Gypsum Republican, who cannot seek re-election due to term limits.

The last time Fisher ran for office, she was a Republican. She’s now a Democrat, after spending a few years without a political party. After growing up Republican, she dropped her party affiliation before leaving the clerk’s job.

“There came a point with the local Republicans when they just felt less inclusive a group than I felt comfortable being with,” Fisher said.

It wasn’t until last year, when she began seriously pondering a run for the commissioner’s job, that she again joined a party, this time the Democrats. Fisher said her decision to run was based, in part, on party politics ” specifically, the often-fractious relationships between party officials.

“The core of my impetus to run is my desire to see a more unified county,” she said. “There seems to be more angst between the parties. They seem less focused on finding the best possible solution than staying true to their parties.”

Fisher believes that’s something she can help fix, she said.

“I have the ability to bring people together,” she said. “I can find collaborative solutions that work for the majority of residents. If decisions are made with the majority of people in mind, this is a better place for everyone.”

When Fisher says “majority,” she says she means people from corporate offices to construction sites. And the business of Eagle County is business, she said.

“Growth is inevitable, in this valley and the Roaring Fork Valley,” she said. “We’re dependent on more businesses moving in, more people moving in. That what this county is about. Thinking we’ll be able to stop growth, I don’t think it’s possible, or beneficial.”

While growth is a fact of life in the county, Fisher said government has to have plans in place to make sure new residents have what they need, from roads to schools to a solid social structure for the area’s working residents.

‘Really a calling’

Fisher counts herself solidly among the valley’s workers. Her husband, Bill, is a professional painter, and Fisher worked for more than a decade in the valley’s hotel business before she was appointed to the clerk and recorder’s job in 1993.

The “and recorder” part of Fisher’s old job included taking minutes of county commissioners’ meeting, a duty she often handled herself. As such, she saw how several different commissioners worked with each other. And she saw the county government evolve.

What’s better these days, she said, is a generally better relationship between the county and its town governments.

“We’re also looking at our long-term economic viability more,” she said.

While Fisher is now eager to get back into local politics, she said she wasn’t ready for another run when term limits forced her from the clerk’s job in 2003.

“Some people suggested that I run in 2002,” she said. “I think it was important that I took time away from the system, to come at it not as a routine, but with a new and fresh perspective.”

In her time out of the public eye, Fisher has worked for WestStar Bank and for Systest Labs, a Denver-based company that, among other things, helps local governments make sure their election systems are working properly. Fisher was part of a team that checked Pennsylvania’s voting equipment and systems before the 2004 elections.

“This has been a tough decision to make,” Fisher said of running for commissioner. Holding office, she said, “means being ‘on’ 24/7.”

“But as this went on, any time I started talking about it, I got more excited,” she said. “I think service to the public is really a calling.”

Scott N. Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ex. 14624 or at

Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado

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