Summit County commissioners select Taryn Power as new clerk and recorder
Weeks after the winning candidate in Summit County’s clerk and recorder race gave up her seat for a full-time position with the town of Frisco, county commissioners have selected her replacement.
Taryn Power, a nonprofit employee and former deputy clerk for the town of Breckenridge, will serve as the county’s new clerk and recorder, a position that oversees county elections and public records as well as services for the state’s Division of Motor Vehicles. Commissioners made the announcement Friday, Dec. 9.
Though the role is typically elected by voters, it must be filled by appointment in the case of a vacancy after an election, according to Colorado law. Power will begin her term in early January.
“I’m very excited, and I’m very humbled by the opportunity,” Power said. “Having grown up here and raised my family here, I’m excited to continue on serving.”
Power currently serves as director of development for The Summit Foundation, a Breckenridge-based nonprofit that serves multiple organizations throughout Summit County. Before that, she served as deputy town clerk for the town of Breckenridge from 2013-19.
Commissioners sought a candidate to lead the countywide office after Stacey Nell, who won her race for the position in the Nov. 8 election by about a 2-to-1 margin, gave up the job nearly a week after the election.
County leaders said at the time they were not aware that Nell had accepted a new job until a Nov. 15 news release from the town of Frisco announced her as the town’s clerk and assistant to the town manager. Nell served as the county’s deputy clerk and recorder when she ran her campaign to head the office but called the Frisco position “one I couldn’t pass up,” according to a statement.
Power was one of three candidates who applied to replace Nell. The others were Jenny Wright, who works in the Summit County Assessor’s Office, and Kay Robinson, Nell’s opponent who secured about 35% of the vote in the Nov. 8 election.
In a statement to the Summit Daily News, Summit County Republicans Chairman Mike Tabb voiced support for Robinson to be Nell’s replacement, which he said would have avoided a “partisan focused appointment” by commissioners. Robinson, who served as a deputy clerk for the county for eight years and was promoted to chief deputy clerk after Nell left for Frisco, ran as an unaffiliated candidate while Nell ran as a Democrat.
Power said she is a “proud member of the Democratic party,” but added she believes her experience weighed most heavily on commissioners when they made their decision to appoint her, which she called a “very fair and transparent process.”
Commissioner Tamara Pogue said she focused on the candidate who she felt most aligned with what voters wanted.
“That’s a difficult thing to do — speaking on behalf of the 10,000 people who voted,” Pogue said. “I believe we decided what the majority of voters in Summit County would have wanted had they had the opportunity to vote directly.”
Candidates were asked questions about their leadership approach and what priorities they would have as clerk and recorder, according to Pogue, who said Power “really excelled” in those areas. Pogue described Power as someone committed to free and fair elections and customer service and believes her background in the Breckrenidge clerk’s office prepares her for the countywide role.
“This is a process that no one could have anticipated, and it obviously was a difficult one,” Pogue said. “I am excited to have a strong leader in this position who will hit the ground running.”
Voters will have their next opportunity to weigh in on the clerk and recorder’s race in the November 2024 general election. Power said she plans to run for reelection.
By early next year, Keystone voters will weigh in on the third election of their incorporation saga, this time casting ballots for who should lead the new town.
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