Rumblings still heard in treasurer’s battle |

Rumblings still heard in treasurer’s battle

A full day after voters made a clear-cut choice for Garfield County Treasurer, both candidates still expressed ire about verbal attacks fired off during the six-month crusade.

The victor in that contest, 16-year veteran treasurer Georgia Chamberlain, handily won her race against Republican challenger Cheryl Chandler by an unofficial margin of 7,859-5,554 – more than 17 percent.

“It was contentious, and I think it was a little mean-spirited sometimes,” Chamberlain said of the campaign.

Chamberlain, 54, lives in Carbondale. She was first elected to the treasurer position in 1986 and will now keep the job through January 2007.

“My staff and I are excited that we’re going to continue working together,” Chamberlain said.

The campaign was a first for Chandler. Despite the loss, she said she was glad to have a chance to voice her opinions.

“I think I got some great issues out there,” she said.

Even though Chamberlain said the campaign was nasty at times, she said some of the issues brought out by Chandler are important.

“Some of the issues she brought up we’re already working on,” Chamberlain said. “But you constantly have to be working on those things.”

Chandler contends that she was pointing out issues rather than running a “mean-spirited” campaign.

“She thought everything was a personal attack on her,” Chandler said. “The only thing I felt was mean was when (Chamberlain) called the real estate community `crooked.’ … That is pure and unadulterated bullshit.”

During the campaign, Chandler questioned the availability of treasurer’s records to the public, made an issue out of how updated Chamberlain’s computer system is and said the treasurer’s office should have better relations with the Garfield Board of County Commissioners.

“Computers are a way of life here,” Chamberlain said.

But even after losing by a double-digit margin, Chandler stuck to her criticisms of Chamberlain’s office.

“I think if 5,500 people aren’t happy with the office, I’d be doing some inventory of what’s going on,” she said. “I know from what I do … we are so behind technologically. The system’s in place, now get the people trained.”

Chamberlain described some of her opponent’s criticism as “confused.”

“She brought up general ideas, but her specifics were off,” Chamberlain said. “She got confused sometimes.”

Chamberlain said in general she’d rather stay in her office than campaign, but she realizes it’s a necessary evil for a person in her position.

“It’s difficult. I had a lot on my plate,” she said. “I’m more comfortable in my office than campaigning, but then I thought if I don’t campaign, I might not have an office to come back to.”

As for whether Chamberlain will seek a sixth term in 2006, she said she’s not sure yet.

“It’s a tad early,” she said. ” I’m just glad this election is over. I didn’t enjoy it.”

Chandler, on the other hand, said the campaign was fun, but did not commit to a second run in 2006.

“It was a great time. I met some of the most absolutely wonderful people you’d want to meet,” Chandler said. “It was a good campaign, it was fun and it cost me a hell of a lot of money.”

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