Martin narrowly defeats Jeung |

Martin narrowly defeats Jeung

Donna Gray
Glenwood Correspondent

Republican incumbent John Martin narrowly defeated challenger Greg Jeung in a race for Garfield County commissioner this week.

Martin received 9,864 votes, compared to 9,635 for Jeung, according to unofficial results.

During the campaign, Martin, who has served two terms as county commissioner, reiterated his key belief that no one person is more important than any other, and said that is what guides his work.

Natural gas development and its impacts to western Garfield County residents became a key issue in the campaign.

Jeung said the county was not doing enough to influence the operations of the natural gas industry. He called for a change in makeup of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) to be more equally balanced between industry representatives and citizens experiencing the impacts of the industry.

Martin said the county’s hands are tied because it is the COGCC that regulates oil and gas development in the state.

In addition, he said that everyone bears some responsibility for gas development in the county, because people continue to drive cars and heat their homes.

Martin has also said a continuing issue in county government is balancing the needs of people to preserve their lifestyles and environment with the need to provide energy and commerce.

Martin grew up in Utah and Colorado and moved to Glenwood Springs in 1969.

He was a construction worker from Glenwood to Aspen to Vail, operated service stations, tended bar and worked as the food and beverage manager at the Holiday Inn in Glenwood Springs before being invited to join the Glenwood Springs Police Department in 1971.

Martin has said that it’s his ability to reach out to people that compelled him to run for county commissioner in 1996. He took office in 1997.

Martin also has a deep connection to the American West that is evident in his signature Old West attire and his alter ego, “Wyatt,” a name that appears with his given moniker on his commissioner name plate.

Jeung also brought experience as an elected official to the campaign. He was a Glenwood Springs City Council member from 1991-1999. He’s also worked at Glenwood Springs City Market for 25 years.

He maintained that change was needed in the Garfield County board of commissioners. He cited the “us-versus-them” mentality that he said pervades county government. He also said that working with other county governments in the region makes good sense.

He called for better accessibility between the county’s citizens and its commissioners. And that includes prominently posting commissioner meeting agendas and televising those meetings.

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