GOP primary set to determine Garfield County clerk candidate
There will be a local primary election in June to determine which Republican candidate will face incumbent Democratic Garfield County Clerk and Recorder Jean Alberico in the fall election.
Bonnie McLean of Carbondale emerged from the Republicans’ county assembly on Saturday in Glenwood Springs as the first choice among assembly voters, earning 59 votes, or 48.8 percent, to claim the top spot on the June 26 primary ballot, according to party Chairwoman Carrie Couey.
Lynette Lacerda of Glenwood Springs earned 43 votes among 121 voting delegates at the nominating assembly to also make the primary ballot, with 35.6 percent support.
A third GOP candidate, Charlotte Squires of Rifle, claimed 19 votes, which fell short of the 30 percent support needed to advance to the primary. Squires could still attempt to petition her way on to the ballot.
Couey said that no other nominations for local, state or national offices came from the floor at the local assembly. That means six other Republican incumbents currently holding county offices will not be challenged in the primary election.
Those office holders include County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky, Sheriff Lou Vallario, Coroner Robert Glassmire, Treasurer Karla Bagley, Assessor Jim Yellico and Surveyor Scott Aibner.
Garfield County Republicans will send a full delegation of 47 representatives to the state GOP Assembly April 14 in Boulder, where party nominations will be determined for governor and other state and national offices.
Meanwhile, Garfield County Democrats, also holding their county party assembly on Saturday in Silt, aligned behind Alberico for re-election to the clerk and recorder’s office. The 125 delegates at the Democrats’ nominating assembly also threw their support behind announced county commissioner candidate Paula Stepp, who will challenge Jankovsky in the November general election.
“There was also great interest in Colin Wilhelm, a local attorney who is running for the State House District 57,” county Democratic Party Chairwoman Gretchen Brogdon said. Wilhelm, of Glenwood Springs, announced his intentions in late February to run against incumbent Republican state Rep. Bob Rankin of Carbondale.
Brogdon said the local party delegates also established a vacancy committee to continue to try to find and develop candidates for the other open county offices.
On the 3rd Congressional District election front, Garfield County Democrats aligned with former state representative and Routt County commissioner Diane Mitsch Bush of Steamboat Springs, rather than local candidates Karl Hanlon, a water and municipal attorney from Carbondale, for the congressional office nomination. The county’s delegation at the April 14 state Democratic Assembly in Broomfield will include 21 delegates for Mitsch Bush and 12 for Hanlon.
In addition, the local party will send 25 delegates for gubernatorial candidate Cary Kennedy, the former state treasurer, to eight for Congressman Jared Polis, who is also running for governor.
Republicans did not select delegates for GOP gubernatorial candidates. Several candidates for governor and the congressional seat are intending to petition their way on to the June 26 primary ballots, rather than going through the party nominating process.
Garfield Democrats also added several resolutions to their platform at the Saturday assembly. Most were intended to clarify current positions, and some were single precinct issues, Brogdon said.
“Gun control was raised and passed in five precincts and was added to our platform at our assembly,” she said. “These resolutions called for the reinstatement of the federal ban on assault weapons with the addition of several specific regulations, like raising the age to purchase to 21, limiting magazine sizes, banning bump stocks, closing the gun show loop hole, and universal background checks.”
The issue will be taken to the State Assembly for consideration, Brogdon said.
County Republicans did not take up any resolutions at their assembly, Couey said.
Also this week in Garfield County is what’s believed to be the first-ever organized gathering locally of unaffiliated voters and potential independent candidates for local, state and national offices. The event, being organized by New Castle resident Randy Fricke, takes place at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Glenwood Springs Library.