No additional candidates expected in Garfield County commissioner race |

No additional candidates expected in Garfield County commissioner race

Phillip Yates
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” The heads of the Garfield County Democratic and Republican parities said the current shape of county commissioner races are what voters should expect to see in November.

Milt Blakey, chair of the Garfield County Republicans, and Ed Sands, chair of the Garfield County Democratic Party, both said that they don’t expect anyone else to announce intentions to run in the county’s two commissioner races this year.

The current race in District 2 is between three-term Republican incumbent John Martin and Democratic challenger Stephen Bershenyi, a Carbondale blacksmith/artist.

In the District 3 race, Rifle attorney and former county judge Steve Carter, a Democrat, will face off against Republican Mike Samson, Rifle High School’s dean of students. That race is wide open after Republican incumbent Larry McCown decided against running for re-election.

District 1 Commissioner Tresi Houpt, a Democrat, is not up for re-election this year.

Under Democratic party rules, anyone who wanted to run as a Democrat for county commissioner had to notify Sands about his or her intent to run at least 10 days before the party’s county assembly, which is scheduled for Saturday. With the deadline already passed, the only people who announced their intention to run were Carter and Bershenyi, Sands said.

However, Sands noted the 10-day rule can be waived by a majority vote at the county assembly, but he added that “most people follow the rule.”

Any challenger can still get on the ballot for the Aug. 12 primary if he or she can receive 30 percent of the vote at the county assembly. Although Carter and Bershenyi have announced their candidacies, they still have to receive at least 30 percent of the vote at the party’s county assembly to be placed on the ballot, Sands said.

A challenger can also receive a place on the ballot by running a successful petition campaign, but Sands said he has not heard of any even contemplating going that path.

“I would be very highly surprised if any other candidate comes forward,” Sands said.

Blakey said he also has had no indications that anyone else, besides Martin and Samson, is planning a run for county commissioner as a Republican. Unlike the Democrats, the local Republican party does not have a 10-day deadline in notifying the local chair about an intention to run for county commissioner, Blakey said.

“If somebody decided to run they can come and get nominated at the (county assembly),” adding that he has had no indications that there is anyone considering trying to petition onto the ballot.

Contact Phillip Yates: 384-9117

Post Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

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