Vail Daily column: Candidates step up for election season
For those who have been involved, it’s been a long haul. The process that ultimately results in candidates for the November elections is extensive. It takes persistence, commitment and dedication. It takes a lot of time, some money and carries with it a huge responsibility, because 4,300 delegates are elected to represent the 1.1 million registered Republicans in the state of Colorado and cast their votes to determine the candidates that will represent the party in the primary and general elections.
It started with the caucus, where representatives were chosen to go on to the County Assembly. We also started the process of submitting resolutions to be considered.
At the County Assembly on March 15, three very important things took place. Delegates and alternates to the District Assemblies and State Convention were elected, resolutions were considered for passage and candidates that will represent Eagle County Republicans on the June 24 primary ballot were chosen. As an FYI, all elected candidates will appear on the primary ballot even if they face no opposition. Something that is often missed is that those numbers play an important role in the candidates’ fundraising efforts so it’s very important to vote even in the uncontested races.
So how did we do? Here are those results:
For county commissioner from District 2, Courtney Holm was elected with Dick Mayne for District 3. Incumbent Karen Sheaffer for treasurer, Sue Franciose for coroner and Ted Archibeque for surveyor were all nominated by acclimation as they ran unopposed. The only primary battle will be between incumbent Sheriff Joe Hoy and James VanBeek.
It was then on to Broomfield on April 11 for District Assemblies. The morning began early with a 7:15 meeting of the State Central Committee. An overview of the weekend was presented, questions asked and answered and as always, those with a bone to pick on some minutia held up the process making it far longer than it needed to be.
We then moved to the Congressional District elections. As a result of redistricting in 2010, Eagle County was split in two with the eastern most part in District 2 while the remainder — and majority — is in District 3. George Leing will run unopposed in District 2 while incumbent Congressman Scott Tipton will face David Cox in the primary.
Senate 5 was next where Don Suppes was nominated by acclimation. House District 26 Assembly resulted in a primary runoff between Dave Moloney and Chuck McConnell.
With long sessions of business completed, the day was followed with a dinner featuring Michael Reagan as speaker where he charmed the crowd with stories of his famous father. After dinner, many of the candidates hosted open houses, trying to position themselves for votes on Saturday.
Another long day began early Saturday morning, April 12, in Boulder with the opening of the State Convention. There were a lot of speeches by a long list of candidates for state and national elections, a lot of hurry up and wait; a lot of filling in the gaps while a variety of credentials were verified, but finally we got to the votes.
Cory Gardner will oppose Mark Udall in the race for the U.S. Senate. Four candidates for governor will battle it out in a primary that promises to be very interesting. Mike Kopp and Scott Gessler made it to the primary ballot through the assembly process while Bob Beauprez and Tom Tancredo petitioned on.
Incumbent Walker Stapleton for treasurer and Wayne Williams for secretary of state were elected by acclimation while Cynthia Coffman will run uncontested in the race for attorney general.
There you have it. A full slate of really fabulous candidates will now get started with the exciting but exhausting job of running for office. Those with a primary have only a short time until the June 24 primary to convince voters that they are the best choice to represent the party on the November ballot. Those with uncontested races now start long-range planning for the general election. Stay tuned because for many, it’s just getting started!
Kaye Ferry is chairwoman of the Eagle County Republicans.