Local Green Party leader steps up as commissioner candidate | SummitDaily.com

Local Green Party leader steps up as commissioner candidate

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BRECKENRIDGE ” Where there’s citizen protest, there’s Doug Malkan.

The Silver Shekel resident has waved signs, gathered signatures, stepped up to the microphone and signed letters to the editor over countless local issues in the past decade.

Now, instead of protesting political decisions, he wants to make them as a member of the Summit Board of County Commissioners.

Malkan announced his candidacy for the District 1 seat in an e-mail to the media Thursday. He said the board needs someone who has a track record of fighting for the environment and better local government.

Yet his fights have never been strictly about saving the environment. He has organized protests on issues ranging from the war in Iraq to golf on the Frisco Peninsula and smoking everywhere in the county’s public places.

While he’s known for railing against the establishment, Malkan, 47, has also participated in personal battles. He filed a voter fraud complaint in 2004 against Breckenridge Town Council candidate Carol Rockne for voting “where her heart is” instead of where she resided at the time. The complaint was eventually dropped by police.

That same year, he wrote in a letter to the editor, “Maybe I am the most radical person that some people know,” and went on to deny involvement in an American flag burning at the top of Peak 1 in Frisco. He submitted himself to a polygraph test (he passed) to quell rumors about the burning.

A Certified Public Accountant by trade, Malkan does the books for the national Green Party, but he doesn’t list the job as a main source of employment. He also owns and manages 10 rental units, seven located in Summit County.

Since founding the party in 1999, he has helped organize four local campaigns, including two county commissioners’ races that failed and two successful town council bids. With no plans to run another candidate during this year’s municipal elections, he said he felt it was his time to run.

“We’ve been doing a lot of things right in the county but there’s a lot more progress we could be making on issues,” he said. Several of those issues are outlined on his website (www.dougmalkan.com). “I want to talk a lot about them in the coming months. The big benefit of having an election is we get to talk about the issues every couple of years.”

Bob French, the Democratic District 1 representative, did not return a call for comment on Malkan’s announcement, but Summit Democrats chairman Sandy Briggs said he welcomed Malkan’s proposed discussion of the issues.

“The Green Party has less than 1 percent of the registered voters in Summit County, so as an organized political party it doesn’t bring terribly much to the table,” Briggs said of the race. “But it’s a vehicle for the Green Party to talk about its issues.”

Issues are certainly Malkan’s reign. He can whip up a firestorm of protest better than anyone in Summit County. As he launches a campaign toward the Nov. 7 election, the question is whether he can whip up support for himself.

Kim Marquis can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13613, or kmarquis@summitdaily.com.

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