And the race is on |

And the race is on

Jane Stebbins

SUMMIT COUNTY – Summit County Republicans and Democrats met Friday and Saturday in state convention meetings to select nominees for state and national legislators. Nominees will appear on the Aug. 13 primary ballot.

According to Harley Williams, Summit County chairman for the Republican Central Committee, Republicans nominated Heather Lemon for their candidate in the state’s 56th House District, Sandy Hume and Bob Vehar for the Second Congressional District, and Web Sill for the 16th Senatorial District. Republicans held their convention in Colorado Springs.

“I think we have some really good candidates,” Williams said of the Republican candidates. “Their credentials are really outstanding.”

Hume is the Boulder County treasurer, Vehar is a financial manager and Sill is a Gilpin County commissioner, Williams said. At the state level, Republicans plan to pit Marti Allbright against Democrat incumbent Ken Salazar in the attorney general race, and hope to keep the rest – Gov. Bill Owens, Secretary of State Donetta Davidson and Treasurer Mike Coffman – in office.

Republicans will pit Lemon, a Beaver Creek attorney, against Democrat Carl Miller of Leadville, who was selected in the state convention meeting in Denver Friday and Saturday. The winner of that race will represent Summit, Eagle and Lake counties under the terms of the redistricting boundaries set earlier this year. U.S. Rep. Mark Udall, also new to the district, will be pitted against Hume and Vehar in the 2nd Congressional District.

Democrats also hope to unseat Gov. Bill Owens with Rollie Heath and his running mate, Bill Thiebaut, and plan to pit Tom Strickland against U.S. Republican Sen. Wayne Allard. Additionally, they plan to pit Terry Phillips against Coffman in the race for state treasurer.

Democrats also hope to retain their incumbents, including State Sen. Joan Fitz-Gerald of Golden and Attorney General Ken Salazar.

Local Democrats said they were disappointed with Gov. Owens’ work in office and believe they can get Heath elected to office.

“I think we have a terrific lineup,” said Marie Roberts, secretary for the Summit County Democrats. “I think we’ll get them all elected. I think we’re way ahead of Republicans. The governor (Owens) went in with money in the bank, and we’re stuck now. We’re taking money away from very important projects. I think he’ll have a tough fight.”

Colorado is one of a few states that still elects its candidates by using party caucuses, assemblies and conventions, Williams said. While some people would rather do away with the system and allow candidates to get on the ballot via petition, Williams said he likes the method.

“It’s a neat grassroots type of operation,” he said. “In the other states, I think they miss out on the effort that gets the people involved. It leaves out the people; they don’t hear the debates, they don’t have the contests. I really like the Colorado process.”

Williams said he’d like to get more people involved in political activities.

“The secret to keeping good people in there is involvement,” he said. “The more people we get, the broader the perspective is. It’s a civic duty.”

Issues expected to arise in the next few years include transportation, education, growth and water.

Jane Stebbins can be reached at 668-3998 ext. 228 or

Who’s Running

– U.S. Senate: Democrat Tom Strickland,

Republican Wayne Allard

– State 1st Congressional District: D: Diana DeGette and Ramona Martinez; R: Ken Chlouber

– 2nd: D: Mark Udall; R: Sandy Hume, Bob Vehar

– 3rd: D: Denis Berckfeldt; R: Scott McInnis

– 4th: D: Stan Matsunaka, Pat Waak (by petition); R: Marilyn Musgave and Jeff Bedingfield

– 5th: D: Curtis Imrie; R: Joel Hefley

– 6th: D: Lance Wright; R: Tom Tancredo

– 7th: D: Dave Thomas, Bob Hagedorn and Mike Feeley (latter two by

petition); R: Rick O’Donnell, Bob Beauprez, Joe Rogers, Sam Zakhem

(latter two by petition)


– Governor: R: Bill Owens; D: Rollie Heath

– Attorney General: R: Marti Allbright; D: Ken Salazar

– Secretary of State: R: Donetta Davidson; D: Anthony Martinez

– Treasurer: R: Mike Coffman; D: Terry Phillips

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