Nina Waters selected by Summit County Democratic vacancy committee to fill open commissioner seat left by Josh Blanchard 

Waters, a commissioner for the Lower Blue River District, will begin her tenure on Friday, Sept. 8

Robert Tann/Summit Daily News
Nina Waters pictured at the Summit County Community and Senior Center on Wednesday, Sept. 6. Waters was selected by a majority of Democratic vacancy committee voters to succeed former commissioner Josh Blanchard.
Robert Tann/Summit Daily News

Summit County Democrats, as part of a 44-member vacancy committee, selected Nina Waters, a current commissioner for the Lower Blue River District, to fill the seat of former county commissioner Josh Blanchard, who resigned Sept. 1

The decision came after one round of voting late Wednesday night at the Summit County Community and Senior Center. Waters, who won a majority of the 44 votes needed to secure the seat, is set to begin her tenure as commissioner on Friday, Sept. 8.

“This has been really a dream of mine since I’ve come to Summit County, said Waters, who has lived in the county for nearly a decade. “I’m really looking forward to getting to work for working families in Summit County as well as all those who feel they may not have been represented before.”

Waters said her first priority will be hammering out the details of next year’s county budget, an initial draft of which is due Oct. 15. The uncertainty of Proposition HH, a statewide November ballot question that could impact property taxes and local government revenue, is almost certain to complicate those discussions.

Water issues will also be top of mind for Waters, who said she sees it as “potentially the issue that’s going to bring us back together.”

“Being a headwaters community, it’s really, really important for us to have an advocate that’s going to be speaking on behalf of Summit County,” she said.

Commissioner Tamara Pogue said Waters has a “genuine experience that most of our workforce experiences,” adding, “I’m really excited to work with her.”

Commissioner Elisabeth Lawrence echoed those sentiments, adding, “This job is so big and dedicating oneself to public service is huge.”

Waters beat out four other candidates for the seat. Those were Jerry Anton, Jamie Callahan, Julia Koster, and John Longhill. Like Blanchard, all are residents of District 3, which includes Silverthorne, Heeney, Copper and a small area of Frisco

Blanchard, who was first elected in November 2020, announced on Aug. 16 his intent to resign after accepting a state position days earlier. Blanchard now leads the Colorado Creative Industries division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

In a previous interview with the Summit Daily News, Blanchard called the decision “very bittersweet,” adding, “I’m very proud of the work that I’ve been a part of these last three years. We’ve done some incredible work with housing, human services, bolstering our watersheds … it’s been an honor to be a part of that work.” 

While tasked with serving out Blanchard’s term, Waters will have the opportunity to run for election in November 2024. 

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