by Sally Scott Moore
A bumper crop of Republicans from every nook and cranny of Hinsdale County turned out Tuesday night, March 6 to participate in the pre-election caucus. A total of 66 registered Republicans were officially signed in for the caucus, together with additional onlookers, children and non-aligned voters, filling the Mary Stigall Theater.
The same event in March, 2016, attracted only 40 voters.
Following the Pledge of Allegiance, there was a brief prayer of invocation led by Keith Chambers, expressing gratitude for “the freedoms we enjoy and the price that has been paid to keep those freedoms.”
Republican Chairman Dan Wampler steered the amicable meeting with the help of Secretary Sharon Rodgers and Vice Chair Jeff Heaton. With upcoming elections including an important state race, Precinct Committee Persons Sherri Boyce and Kayla Gowdy volunteered to serve as voting represen-tatives.
The evening’s main event was
choosing delegates to represent various commissioner candidates who will vote at next week’s GOP assembly. Some 50 delegates from the assemblage were nominated.
Voting ballots were distributed to choose the 30 delegates and four alternates from that pool.
While the secretary and counters retreated to Anthony Gallery to tally votes, time was offered for other republican candidates to be introduced who will be running in upcoming town and county races.
Steve Ryals made a short introductory statement and asked for support in his upcoming race for Mayor of Lake City. He has served as a town trustee for four years.
Outgoing District 2 Commissioner Cindy Dozier endorsed Walker Stapleton for Governor and gave a promotional thumbnail sketch of his background as two-time State Treasurer, asking county voters to support his gubernatorial ambitions.
Dan Wampler introduced candidates running
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unopposed for office in Hinsdale County. Standing to introduce herself, Joan Roberts told the audience, “I was an appointee as Hinsdale County Clerk following Linda Pavich’s retirement. I have worked in the Hinsdale County Clerk’s office for 24 years,” she noted in asking for the support of those assembled.
Lori Lawrence is completing her first term as Hinsdale County Treasurer and expressed her desire to be re-elected. Luke de la Parra, appointed to replace Joan Nelson following her retirement, said in his brief comment, “I’ve been working for Hinsdale County for four years now, I love it and I hope you will vote for me.”
Justin Casey has served as a deputy and now undersheriff with the Hinsdale County Sheriff’s Office for 11 years. Casey is now on the ballot, unopposed, to replace Sheriff Ron Bruce who is retiring at the end of his term.
While no actual campaigning took place at the caucus, there was an opportunity for introductions by both District 2 commissioner candidates.
Kristie Borchers, long-time Hinsdale County grant writer, is also program director and communication leader for RWEACT (Rio Grande Watershed Emergency Action Coordination Team). Additionally, Borchers serves as a director with Hinsdale County Historical Society, as well as Executive Director of Lake City DIRT (Downtown Improvement and Revitalization Team). Standing, she offered a brief introduction, stating “Thanks so much for coming out and participating in local government.”
David Guilliams, who owns and operates Taylor Ranch, as well as an outfitting operation, lives in the South End of Hinsdale County.
He serves as Southwestern Water Conservation District Director. He is a Club 20 member and has served as Archuleta County Road & Bridge
Superintendent for four years. A member of the
Hinsdale Planning Commission since 2015, Guilliams stated, “I appreciate your coming out tonight. I look forward to discussing the county issues.”
At the urging of Town County Clerk Jamie Turrentine, Wampler announced that town ballots for the April 3 trustee election are going out on Monday, March 12. “It is imperative that you sign the back of the ballot envelope,” Turrentine said. Signature verification in the mail-in ballot process, she added, is mandatory and unsigned ballot envelopes will be disqualified.
GOP Chairman Wampler also noted that June 26 is the Primary Election, stating, ”For the first time in Colorado, unaffiliated voters can vote in either the Republican or Democratic races.”
The two-hour meeting culminated with the election of the 30 delegates and four alternate delegates, as follows: Dan Murphy, Burton Smith, Mike Murphy, Justin Casey, Deanna Cooper, Cindy Dozier, Ron Bruce, Stan Whinnery, Becky Casey, Don Yeager, Edna Mason, Barbara McDonald, Steve Dozier, Becky Guilliams, Justin Guilliams, Ingrid Long, David Guilliams, Francie Yeager, Ruthanne File, Melinda McDonald, George Hurd, Robert Hurd, Janel Warren, Anna Ball, Ray Ball, Kelsey Guilliams, Rick Hernandez, Paul Hudgeons, Shari Heaton, Eric Hoover, Diane Bruce, Jessica Cunningham, Norman Ragle and Jamie Turrentine.
by Sally Scott Moore