Paula Stepp to run for Garfield County commissioner

Alex Zorn


8:30 a.m. – Battlement Mesa Rec Center

10 a.m. – Rifle Library/City Hall Public Space

11:30 a.m. – Old Library in Silt

1 p.m. – Mattivi Plaza in New Castle

2:30 p.m. – Bonfire Coffee Shop on Main Street in Carbondale

4 p.m. – Garfield County Courthouse steps in Glenwood Springs

Paula Stepp of Glenwood Springs kicked off her campaign to run for the District 1 Garfield County Commissioner seat on Friday, with stops in Battlement Mesa, Rifle, Silt, New Castle, Carbondale and, finally, Glenwood Springs on her tour through the county’s major municipalities.

“It’s important — and symbolic — to begin my campaign in person, in each town, giving voters a chance to get acquainted with me and my platform,” Stepp said in a Thursday news release. “I will offer a clear, new alternative to the current board of commissioners.”

For the past six years, Stepp worked as an associate publisher for Big Stone Publishing in Carbondale. The Democrat previously has worked at El Jebel Tree Farm with the White River National Forest, for various newspapers and for Climbing magazine.

If she wins the party’s nomination to run for the District 1 commissioner seat, she would likely face two-term incumbent Republican Tom Jankovsky in the November election. Jankovsky confirmed this week he will run for reelection.

“I’ve been exploring the opportunity for the past year and the more I looked into it, the more I thought there were some major things that we need to make a difference in the county,” Stepp told the Post Independent on Thursday. “Right now, we have three guys on the board and they all have similar political leanings, and I think we need another voice on there.”

Stepp moved to Glenwood Springs in 1979 and said over the years she believes she has built partnerships with commitment, integrity, trust and creativity, according to the release.

Jankovsky is completing his second term representing the District 1 area that includes the southern portion of Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and points between. Though county commissioners reside in a geographic district, they are elected countywide.

Jankovsky said Thursday that he expected to have an opponent and, while he doesn’t know Stepp well, said he’s confident she will be a great opponent despite what philosophical differences the two may have.

He said there are a number of things he still wants to get done as commissioner, but two that stand out are to finish greater sage-grouse mapping in Garfield County and to continue to do work on public lands. Jankovsky is also the general manager of Sunlight Mountain Resort.

The District 1 commissioner seat is one of several county offices up for election this year. A likely race is shaping up for Garfield County Clerk and Recorder, where incumbent Jean Alberico, a Democrat, is expected to face one of three Republican candidates who have declared their candidacies. They are Charlotte Squires of Rifle, Lynette Lacerda of Glenwood Springs and Bonnie McLean of Carbondale.

Other Garfield County Offices up for election in November are all held by Republican incumbents, including sheriff (Lou Vallario), coroner (Rob Glassmire), assessor (Jim Yellico), treasurer (Karla Bagley) and surveyer (Scott Aibner).

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