Two candidates get on August primary ballot |

Two candidates get on August primary ballot

Scott N. Miller

EAGLE COUNTY – Let the winnowing begin.Two candidates for Eagle County Commissioner who bypassed their county party assemblies last month, have collected enough petition signatures to get on the August primary ballot.

Tom Edwards, a Gypsum Republican, and Mike Lederhause, a Democrat who lives on the Colorado River Road, will take the bottom line on the primary ballots since they bypassed their parties’ county assemblies last month.Edwards said last month that he took his time to decide whether to seek the commissioner’s seat, and wondered if he could get enough support at the Republican assembly at basically the last minute.Lederhause bypassed the Democratic assembly because he, too, wondered if he could get enough support from the party faithful to get on the ballot.Both candidates had to collect signatures based on the number of voters in the primary election of 2002, the last time that commissioner’s seat was contested. With a higher turnout in the Republican primary, Edwards had to get 199 petition signatures. Lederhause needed 73.

Both Lederhause and Edwards said it was fairly easy to get people to sign their petitions, but both made sure they turned in many more signatures than they needed.”I was actually getting more today (Thursday) before I got the letter that I was on the ballot,” Edwards said. With a little help from family members, Edwards was able to turn in more than 300 signatures.

Lederhause said he went from Vail to El Jebel to collect signatures, eventually collecting nearly 150.Roger Brown, an independent candidate for county commissioner, also has to get on the ballot by petition. He needs more signatures – 230 – than either of the partisan candidates, and couldn’t start collecting them until earlier this month. Like Lederhause and Edwards, Brown said earlier this year he didn’t expect to have too hard a time collecting those signatures.Now that they’re on the ballot, the job of campaigning can start in earnest.”I’m just going to get out and talk to people,” Lederhause said.That’s Edwards’ strategy, too.”I’m going to campaign and try not to make too much of a nuisance of myself,” Edwards said.

Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at 748-2930, or Daily, Vail Colorado

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