Local election deadlines approaching

Staff Report

There are quite a few elected positions up for grabs this April in western Garfield County, but those interested in running only have a couple more days to submit signatures necessary to get on the ballot.

Those signatures must be submitted to the appropriate clerk by the end of business on Monday, Jan. 25. With the exception of Rifle, every incorporated town in western Garfield County from New Castle to Parachute has multiple positions up for election.

Parachute finds itself in the unique position of having every position on the town’s board of trustees up for election. That’s due to an effort to recall Mayor Roy McClung and trustees Tim Olk and Tom Rugaard.

Those wishing to run against incumbents in the recall election have until mid-February, to submit the necessary amount of signatures, said Denise Chiaretta, town clerk.

Despite efforts to recall John Loschke, another trustee, he actually is due up for re-election this April, as is Mayor Pro-Tem Juanita Williams, which means signatures for both seats are due Monday. That clarification runs counter to previous reports that stated Loschke was being recalled.

Asked about the issue, Chiaretta said she has never conducted a recall election, and the occurrence alongside an established election has caused some confusion.

Also, since trustees Daniel Manzanares and Travis Sproles were appointed to their seats in the past eight months, they both will have to run for their seats, according to Chiaretta.

All people, whether running in the recall or regularly scheduled election, must have 20 valid signatures of registered voters in the town.

Both Silt and New Castle have three position up for election of their respective boards.

In New Castle, councilors Mary Metzger, Patrick Stuckey and Merle Means are up for election. The town’s charter requires that potential candidates submit a minimum of 15 valid signatures, which are due Monday.

In Silt, trustees Keith Richel, Sonny Fernandez and T.J. Tucker are up for election. Tucker was appointed in late September to fill the seat previously occupied by Jeff LaValla. He was one of several qualified candidates who trustees went back and forth on before ultimately appointing Tucker to the seat.

At the time, Fernandez and Richel both confirmed that they intend on running for re-election. In Silt, 25 valid signatures are required to make the ballot. Those must be returned by Monday.

None of the three towns on western Garfield County have term limits, per their charters. The spring election is set for April 5.

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