Longtime educator to seek commissioner seat
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Longtime Glenwood Springs educator and former Roaring Fork Re-1 school board member Sonja Linman will challenge John Martin for his Garfield County commissioner seat in November.
Linman, a 23-year resident of Glenwood Springs and currently an eighth-grade writing teacher at Glenwood Springs Middle School, recently earned the Garfield County Democratic Party’s nod and has filed with the state to run for the District 2 seat.
That seat has been held by Martin, a Glenwood Springs Republican, since 1997. Martin currently serves as chair of the three-member Garfield Board of County Commissioners.
Martin could not be reached Monday for comment.
Linman joins fellow Democrat Aleks Briedis of Rifle, who is running for the Commissioner District 3 seat now held by Republican Mike Samson.
“It has been my privilege to serve the families, children and communities of Garfield County for 23 years,” Linman said in a prepared statement announcing her candidacy.
“I carry deep respect for diverse perspectives, and the ethical process necessary to provide truly representative government for our communities,” she said.
Linman graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, with a bachelor’s in education, then moved to Glenwood Springs in 1989 where she helped found Yampah Mountain High School. The cooperative, alternative high school serves Garfield County’s three school districts.
In 2006, Linman was appointed to the Roaring Fork Re-1 school board. She later became program officer for the Aspen Community Foundation for a period of time before returning to the classroom at GSMS two years ago.
Linman also has a master’s degree in education, and a current state addictions counseling license. She completed her educational leadership administration program in 2011, concentrating on management and staffing, policy development and fiscal responsibility.
She has also served on several volunteer boards, including Hospice, Access Roaring Fork and the CMC Community Advisory Committee.
“I believe that the fundamental purpose of government is to understand the lives of our people, analyze critical issues with thorough understanding and transparency, and evaluate all decisions with wisdom and equity,” Linman said. “This is really the people’s campaign.
“True regional strength and growth comes from all people reaching their full potential. This means we work together to provide economic opportunities for self-sufficiency,” she added. “We examine and develop a variety of collaborative and innovative options for employment and we work to balance today’s critical need for jobs with tomorrow’s need for true sustainability.”
Linman and her husband Whitney have one son, who is a sophomore at Glenwood Springs High School.
Garfield County Democratic Party Chairman Jack Real said he believes Linman will be a “wonderful candidate, and will make a great commissioner.”
“She has been in the community for years, and has done a lot of good things in education, is familiar with budgeting, and is an outgoing person who cares about others and cares about the community,” Real said.
Garfield County Commissioner District 2 includes the north part of Glenwood Springs and areas west, including New Castle and Silt. However, county commissioners are elected countywide. Voters will also decide on the District 3 race between Samson and Briedis in the November election.
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