Independent Lindstrom garners Republican endorsement |

Independent Lindstrom garners Republican endorsement

Jane Stebbins

FRISCO – The Summit County Republican Central Committee Monday night gave its unanimous endorsement to Independent Gary Lindstrom, who is running for reelection as county commissioner.

The Democrats are expected to do the same at their meeting tonight.

“I can’t say how it’s going to go, but my feeling is he’s earned reelection and we’ll see what the vote is,” said George Sherman, chairman of the Summit County Democrats. “A number of Summit County Democrats feel strongly about endorsing him. It will all come down to what the decision is at the meeting.”

Lindstrom, who once was affiliated with the Republican party, will be pitted against Green Party candidate Justin McCarthy in the November runoff.

Sandy Greenhut, who served for 12 years as the chairman of the Summit County Democrats, said the party hadn’t yet endorsed Lindstrom because they thought the Republicans might pit someone against him if they did.

“They beat us to it,” she said, adding that she thought it was great the two parties could agree to endorse the same candidate. “We are going to endorse him – period. That’s the way it’s going to be.”

According to Don Carlson, media official for the Summit Republicans, Lindstrom requested the endorsement at a meeting Monday night in Frisco. He said he thinks “it’s a good thing” if both parties to agree to endorse the same candidate.

“My feeling is that I represent all the people in Summit County as an Independent,” he said. “Summit County is not a partisan county; it never has been, it never will be. People here look at the issues rather than what party people are from. I think I do a good job of representing Republicans as well as Democrats.”

Lindstrom has been a county commissioner since 1995, when he was appointed to complete the term vacated after two months by Rick Hum. That term doesn’t count toward term limits, leaving Lindstrom eligible to run for two more terms.

If elected in November, however, he said it will be the last time he runs.

“Definitely,” he said. “I’ll be 64 when I finish the next term, and that’s long enough.”

During his seven-and-a-half years as county commissioner, Lindstrom has seen the construction of the County Commons, animal control, emergency services, Community and Senior Center and Summit Stage buildings. He’s also been involved in the creation of the Joint Upper Blue Master Plan, backcountry zoning and the Transfer of Development Rights Program, the I-70 Major Investment Study, White River National Forest Plan, Ophir Mountain affordable housing, water quality issues in French and Peru creeks and securing same-sex benefits for county employees.

“Hopefully, I’m working hard to do what I can for the environment,” he said. “Transportation has always been a big issue with me, and I’d like to think I’m being sensitive to land-use decisions.”

A pressing issue this year has been the ever-tightening budget.

“I think right now we’ve got to work on fiscal responsibility,” he said. “We’re down $2.5 million right now (from what’s been budgeted). The reorganization (outlined Monday) will save $200,000. But the budget’s a moving target. Every day it changes. We’re getting closer. And in doing so, we’re trying to reduce the level of service without having a dramatic impact on the community. It’s one step at a time.”

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