by Lisa Cyriacks

Saguache County Commissioner Linda Joseph with US Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff. Romanoff visited Crestone on his state-wide tour, presenting his platform to a full house.

The Senate is a key body for legislation and setting the future direction of our country. Who we, in Colorado, have in the Senate and what he or she works on will have tremendous impact.

The Democratic primary race between Bennet and Romanoff has had some surprising twists.  Romanoff successfully won top billing in the state assembly with 60 per cent of the vote, despite being outspent by a better-funded opponent.  Bennet’s clearest advantage is in his fundraising—he has secured more than five times the funding for his campaign than Romanoff.

Both Bennet and Romanoff are jostling over which is more of an outsider to the existing political process—Bennet as the newcomer to politics who walks the halls of power and can list his votes on health care reform and overhauling the financial system, or Romanoff, the legislative veteran bucking party bosses by challenging the incumbent and refusing to take donations from political action committees and corporations.

The Republican primary race for this seat is between Jane Norton, and Ken Buck.  Buck won his party’s nomination in the assembly, while Norton petitioned onto the ballot. In recent speeches, the two Republicans seem to agree about most topics, like the dangers of leaving a potentially nuclear Iran unchecked—but deviate over how to conduct the war in Afghanistan.

Gubernatorial race

Leading contender for the Republican candidate for governor Scott McInnis has made headlines recently amid accusations of plagiarism. Portions of the essays McInnis submitted to the Hasan Family Foundation appear to echo a 1984 article written by Colorado Supreme Court Justice Gregory Hobbs.

McInnis faces a challenger, Dan Maes, an Evergreen businessman and political neophyte who took top billing on the ballot at the state assembly in May.

Democrat John Hickenlooper is running unopposed in the primary. Hickenlooper, a former petroleum geologist turned business entrepreneur is currently Mayor of Denver. His reputation is for being a sharp and innovative businessman. The Democratic Party believes that a Hickenlooper governorship will be good for the Colorado economy, attracting new businesses and bring innovative companies and high-paying jobs to the state.

County races

Linda Joseph cites her public service background in education, healthcare, and non-profit administration as bringing new benefits to the County, and the experience and connections gained in her first term as reasons for continuing voter support.

Tim Lovato won top billing at the county assembly, stating that he does not represent any special interest groups and would strive for “equity for all”.  He also cites his background working with state water resources and his being a Saguache County native as pluses to his campaign.

Republicans also have two candidates in the primary: Steve Carlson and Allen Jones.  Carlson won his nomination in the county assembly, while Jones petitioned onto the ballot. Carlson’s platform is common-sense conservationism and representing the will of the majority. Jones currently sits on the Saguache County planning commission and is running on a platform of private property rights.

The other highly contested primary at the county level is for County Clerk. Incumbent Melinda Myers is running on a record of streamlining the office and improving customer relations. She also points to her track record of running three elections including the 2008 presidential election in which Precinct 5 had the longest ballot in the state.

Democratic challenger Christina Wilson promises to work for excellence and to act on voters’ behalf should she be elected to the office of County Clerk.  Wilson won top billing on the ballot at the county assembly.

Winner of the Democratic primary race for County Clerk will face Republican candidate Carla Gomez. Gomez’s platform is delivering public service, and being accountable and accessible to the people of Saguache County.  Her background includes working for the 12th Judicial District Attorney as the Director of the Victim Witness Program.

The county primary is August 10 from 7am to 7pm.  Precinct 5 (Crestone/Baca) polling place is the Crestone Community Building (old school house).  Mail-in ballots can still be requested either by contacting the County Clerk’s office at 655-2512 or by accessing the Secretary of State’s website online at www.govotecolorado.com.

Primay Election Day, Tuesday, August 10, 7am to 7pm

Polling place locations in Saguache County:

Precinct 1/Villa Grove area…………..… .Villa Grove Baptist Church

Precinct 2/Sargents area………………….Permanent Mail in precinct

Precinct 3/Saguache area…………………County Courthouse

Precinct 4/ Moffat area………………..… .Moffat School Roundhouse

Precinct 5/ Crestone area…………………Crestone Community Building

Precinct 6/ La Garita area………………..41605 County Road G

Precinct 7-9/ All Center precincts………. .Center School Fyock Library

•  Bring ID

•  Only registered Republicans, Libertarians or Democrats can vote in their respective primaries. However, Unaffiliated voters can pick a party to affiliate with on election day and vote.

•  Update your registration or check on the status of  your mail- in ballot at GovoteColorado.com

SPECIAL NOTICE: Clerk’s office will be closed except for election business on Aug 10, sorry for any inconvenience.