Julie Sutor withdraws from county commissioner election
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the districts of candidates Allen Bacher and Daryl Bohall and to accurately reflect the nature of Sutor’s campaign committee.
FRISCO — Summit County commissioner candidate Julie Sutor has dropped out of the race to focus on her role as county communications director.
Sutor, who was running as a Democrat, first announced her campaign Feb. 9 for the District 2 seat, which covers Dillon and Frisco. Sutor was up against Democrat Tamara Pogue, CEO of Peak Health Alliance and former executive director of the Family & Intercultural Resource Center.
Now that Sutor has withdrawn her campaign, all county commissioner races will be uncontested in the June 30 primary.
Sutor said she would not have the time to dedicate to the campaign because her role as communications director has become more involved since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was a really tough decision,” she said. “With everything we have going on right now in terms of our COVD-19 response, I just couldn’t devote enough time and energy to a campaign for it to be successful.”
Pogue thanked Sutor for the work she put into her campaign.
“Running for office takes courage and hard work, so I hope everyone will join me in thanking Julie for stepping up — especially during this challenging time,” Pogue wrote in an email.
Sutor’s goals were to improve livability for the county’s workforce by developing affordable housing, building new child care facilities and expanding access to health care. She also planned to take action to fight climate change and protect the natural environment.
Democrats Thomas Davidson, District 2, and Karn Stiegelmeier, District 3, are term limited.
District 1: Breckenridge
- Elisabeth Lawrence, D (incumbent)
- Allen Bacher, R
District 2: Dillon and Frisco
- Tamara Pogue, D
- Daryl Bohall, R
District 3: Silverthorne
Sutor said she plans to continue fighting for those efforts in her role with the county.
“I think that the county has some robust goals in place around each of those areas,” she said. “In particular, the climate action plan is a roadmap forward for the county. One thing that is important to keep in mind is that climate change is still happening amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s important for us to keep our eyes on that ball.”
Sutor said she’s keeping the “door open” for a future in public service. For right now, she is focused on informing the community about COVID-19.
“This work is essential for the response effort as well as stabilization and recovery,” she said. “I wanted to be able to devote myself fully to helping the community and supporting the community in that way. So I plan to continue to do that.”
Pogue said she is also focusing on supporting the county as it moves through the COVID-19 crisis.
“The economic toll on our community is unfathomable, quite frankly,” she said. “We need to balance protecting the health of our community with mitigating the economic devastation.”
Patti McLaughlin, Summit County Democratic party chair, said the organization is working to find ways to campaign while physical interaction is limited because of the novel coronavirus. The group plans to hold virtual forums and direct voters to candidates’ social media.
McLaughlin said there will be three locations in the county for people to vote in person for the primary election. However, mail-in ballots also will be available.
“We’re lucky in Colorado that we have a robust process for voting by mail,” she said. “I would suspect in these circumstances more people will vote by mail for sure.”
Both Pogue and McLaughlin are looking forward to getting to know Sutor’s supporters and uniting the party.
Sutor thanked her supporters and campaign committee for devoting their time to the effort.
“It really has been an honor to run and to receive that support,” she said. “I think it’s something much greater than me.”
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