Voters: Ads haven’t swayed us |

Voters: Ads haven’t swayed us

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado “Despite advertising, media coverage and public debates, some voters are unsure who they are going to vote for in the state House District 56 race between Ali Hasan and Christine Scanlan.

Hasan, a Beaver Creek Republican, and the incumbent Scanlan, a Dillon Democrat, are vying for the seat, which represents Eagle, Summit and Lake counties.

Sheri Wharton, Vail Valley resident and former political science major, said she used to be a registered Republican, but resents the GOP’s alignment with the religious right. She said she would vote Republican again if the candidate were a throwback to the Reagan days, with fiscal conservatism and a “live and let live” social mentality.

However, she said, there are much larger issues at hand this year than building a monorail on Interstate 70, which has been a cornerstone of Hasan’s campaign.

“I mean, it’s a good idea and all, but we’re facing what could be the next Great Depression, so where is this money going to come from?” she said. “It’s just that local politics don’t matter as much when we are almost $12 trillion in debt.”

Wharton believes that the local elections have been almost completely eclipsed by national issues such as the economy and national debt.

“I think Hasan’s ads have come across fairly well,” Wharton said. “But people are just so overwhelmed by the major economic issues, and they think, ‘These people just can’t do anything for us.'”

Some people said that Hasan has spent lots of money on advertising, including campaign signs along the interstate. One voter said she saw him at a church event handing out free pizza. He also placed reusable grocery bags emblazoned with his name on people’s doorknobs.

Steve Grover, a Vail Valley resident of 14 years and employee of Vail Resorts, said he has always been a Republican and usually votes along party lines. But, he added, he feels a disconnect between local politicians and voters.

“To be honest, I really don’t feel like my vote really matters too much,” he said. “Sure, local politics matter, but Hasan is from Beaver Creek. How could he have lived anything except a privileged, sheltered life? The politicians are on a completely different level than people like me.”

Grover said a dispute last March in which Hasan’s former campaign manager filed a permanent restraining order against him, but withdrew the request two weeks later, might make him reconsider voting for the Republican. Grover said he plans to do more research before Election Day.

“I read the newspaper every day, but I really feel like I don’t know the candidates very well at all,” Grover said.

Even those who weren’t sure what the House District 56 race involved or who the candidates were, were familiar with Hasan’s campaign efforts, and the response from Scanlan.

Marion Mancz, an au pair from Germany working in the valley, said that although she can’t vote in this election, she’s interested in the races at every level.

“We see the signs all along the highway,” she said. “In Germany, we have the signs, too, but everything seems to be bigger in America.”

Nadine Wolf, another German au pair, said that in America, she often hears people complaining about how they can’t change anything.

“I think everyone should vote,” she said. “If you don’t vote, you can’t change anything. And you really can’t complain about not being able to change things.”

She said that people tend to vote on local issues without researching them. She thought that the process should be more like that of her home country, where people take more of an interest in local politics before elections.

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