BRECKENRIDGE - While four candidates for Summit's state House District 61 have been campaigning, fundraising and attending forums across the county, one name on the ballot has been notably absent.
As her opponents scuffle for a new job in Denver, Libertarian hopeful Ellen Temby said she remains focused on her current jobs as a mother and a business owner in the middle of a move.
"I don't have a committee or any finances," Temby said. "My primary focus is raising my kids, running my business and spreading the word that there are more choices out there for elected offices."
She tossed her hat in the ring for a hotly contested seat after getting a call from the Libertarian Party asking her to run earlier this year. But Temby says she's more than just a name on the ballot and a major-party alternative. She wants to win and would give the position her full attention if elected.
"The current political system is not working," she said. "I would love to be elected because then I can start making changes. I can serve people who feel like they've been forgotten and that they have no say in how the government works."
As a Libertarian, Temby's agenda focuses on limited government, personal freedom and personal responsibility. But as the daughter of a man who spent the better part of his career as a corporate liason to low-income employees and someone who has dabbled in that work herself, she says she'd also be a voice for the disenfranchised people of the district.
"The Libertarian Party is all about bringing government back to the level at which it was created," Temby said. "It wasn't about parties, it was about individual people banding together."
That perspective influences Temby's view of most hot-button issues facing the Legislature. She's in favor of civil unions (personal freedoms) and unenthusiastic about state spending on forest health programs.
"I would be looking at minimizing government intervention in the natural world," she said.
She supports privatizing education, although both of her own children attend public schools and, when it comes to the state budget, she says she would advocate cutting "areas where the government doesn't belong."
"We have to look at minimizing government intrusion," she said. "It's not something that you just make a check mark and it all goes away. It's going to be a very slow and steady process."
Temby, 51, was born in Texas and grew up primarily in California, with the exception of stints in Spain and Canada.
She received a bachelor's degree in sociology and psychology from Pacific University in Stockton before moving to Los Angeles to take a job as a talent agent in Hollywood.
Temby is fluent in Spanish after living in Spain as a child and eventually took a job in Spain before spending a few months travelling through Europe.
She returned to the U.S. and dipped her toes in other industries, including life insurance and real estate acquisitions.
In 1995 her love of the mountains and skiing brought her to Summit County, where she dove into another new pursuit: cycling.
It was through one of her sponsors that she eventually met her husband, Chuck Ginsburg, who worked for the company.
The couple now have two children and own several businesses including A Racer's Edge, a custom boot and ski and snowboard rental company, Silver Bucket Property Management and Creative Ethical Investments, a real estate investment business specializing in affordable housing.
Those who know Temby describe her as accountable in her businesses, saying she follows through on her responsibilities as a landlord and keeps her properties in good condition.
"She takes her responsibilities very seriously," longtime friend Peg McLaughlin said of Temby, with whom she used to play soccer. "She is a hands-on person and does not often pass off duties that need to be attended to on to others."
She has also been involved in the Mountain Mentors program locally.