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Incumbents in, challengers anticipated for April Glenwood City Council elections

The three incumbents are declared, and challengers have until Jan. 25 to gather nominating signatures to run for Glenwood Springs City Council April 6.

Formally announcing their intentions over the weekend for reelection to the Ward 2 and Ward 5 seats, respectively, were Ingrid Wussow and Jonathan Godes. Their announcements come on the heels of At-Large Councilwoman Shelley Kaup’s Thursday announcement that she, too, will be seeking a second consecutive four-year term on council.

As of Friday, petitions had been picked up for all three seats, Acting City Clerk Steve Boyd said.

Candidates have until Jan. 25 to gather the required number of signatures and submit their nominations. Signatures can come from registered city voters, either citywide for the At-Large seat, or from within one of the wards for those seats.

Ward 2 takes in the northwestern portion of Glenwood Springs west of Traver Trail and north of the Colorado River. Ward 5 encompasses the south Glenwood area, west of the Roaring Fork River and south of 27th Street.

City Council nominating petitions available

Those wishing to run for a City Council seat in the regular election of the City of Glenwood Springs on April 6 may pick up a nominating petition from the City Clerk at City Hall, 101 W. 8th Street, Suite 325, by appointment by calling 970-384-6406.

There are three City Council seats up for election — Wards 2 and 5 and one At Large seat — all for four-year terms.

According to a city news release, all candidates must be a citizen of the United States, have resided withing Glenwood Springs city limits for one year immediately prior to the date of the election, and be a qualified elector as defined by the laws of the State of Colorado. Candidates wishing to run in Wards 2 and 5 must reside in one of those wards.

Petitions must be returned to the City Clerk no later than 5 p.m. Jan. 25.

There is no party affiliation designation or requirement to be seated on City Council.

For more information, contact the Assistant City Clerk at 970-384-6406.

Godes seeks second term

Jonathan Godes

Godes was first elected to the Ward 5 seat in April 2017, and currently sits in the council-appointed position as mayor.

“There is critical work we must continue in order to recover from the devastating effects of the COVID 19 pandemic and the Grizzly Creek Fire,” Godes said in a prepared statement announcing his intentions to seek reelection.

“The economic, infrastructure and public health toll this has taken on our community needs to be our focus in the next several years.”

Godes also said he will continue to be a leading voice against expansion of the Rocky Mountain Industrials (RMI) limestone strip mine just north of town.

“I hope to continue this fight, and to make sure that we win,” he said.

Godes noted that he helped to secure more than $10 million in federal and state grants for the 27th Street Bridge replacement and the South Midland Avenue reconstruction.

“In the next six months, South Bridge, after nearly 20 years, will be ’shovel-ready,’ and we have the first $24 million designated towards its construction,” Godes said, acknowledging that the city has worked with the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority and Colorado Department of Transportation to reduce costs for that project by $25 million.

“These projects are what motivated me to run for City Council four years ago, and their completion will be my priority in my next term,” he said. “I was also a strong public health voice for making vaping products harder to get for our kids, and for the early adoption of an indoor face mask order.”

In addition, Godes pointed to ongoing city investments in fiber internet and renewable energy sourcing.

“The next several years holds exciting opportunities and a need for further community conversation around (several) questions,” he said.

Those include, how best to diversify the city’s economy, how to “find the right balance between protecting our local businesses and the health of our citizens,” how to revitalize the West Glenwood Mall, and how to maintain “small-town character” while meeting housing needs.

Wussow seeks election to appointed seat

Ingrid Wussow

Wussow is seeking formal election to the Ward 2 seat that she was appointed to fill last fall, replacing former Councilor Rick Voorhees.

She is a fifth-generation local and longtime resident of West Glenwood.

“I’m looking forward to representing constituents of Ward 2 as well as the Glenwood Springs community at broad,” Wussow said in a statement. “I recognize the importance of making solid plans that respect our present economy, pay heed to our past and support our future.”

As a past member of the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission for the last four-plus years, she said that has helped her understand the growth and development issues facing Glenwood Springs.

“My goal is to never lose sight of first serving the people who live here while still creating an environment that welcomes visitors and supports the tourist economy,” Wussow said.

“There are so many different perspectives to any issue, that requires slowing down and hearing all sides,” she said. “I plan to listen and will make easily accessible opportunities for West Glenwood community members to be heard.”

Wussow gave a nod to the challenges businesses have faced this past year during the pandemic restrictions, and said she looks forward to providing continued support.

She also said she supports the continued efforts to fight the RMI mine expansion.

“Taking care of locals is a huge priority to me,” she said. “That means making sure we manage growth with common sense, invest in infrastructure and create recreational opportunities that support our locals.”

jstroud@postindependent.com

Boebert’s spokesman quits less than 2 weeks into term

DENVER (AP) — The spokesman for Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert of Rifle has quit less than two weeks after she was sworn into office, saying he was prompted to by the insurrection at the nation’s Capitol.

Ben Goldey confirmed his departure to The Colorado Sun after it was first reported on Saturday by Axios. The Sun reported that Goldey did not respond to additional questions, but he told Axios he was leaving in the wake of a deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Boebert, a first-term Colorado Republican with links to the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory, has sought to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory and gained attention for vowing to carry a gun in the Capitol.

“Following the events of January 6th, I’ve decided to part ways with the office,” Goldey told Axios. “I wish her and the people of Colorado’s Third District the best.”

Boebert’s office declined to comment. “The office does not comment on internal personnel matters with individual employees,” Jeff Small, Boebert’s chief of staff, told The Colorado Sun on Saturday.

Goldey’s replacement has already been hired. Boebert’s staff is largely made up of former staffers of President Donald Trump and Republican ex-U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner.

Kaup to seek reelection to at-large Glenwood Springs City Council seat

In this April 2017 file photo, Shelley Kaup spends the evening with friends, family and supporters at the Rivers Restaurant waiting for election results.

Glenwood Springs City Council member Shelley Kaup says she will seek reelection to another four-year term to one of council’s two at-large seats in the April 3 election.

“The next few years are critical to help the city recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Grizzly Creek Fire,” Kaup said in a formal statement announcing her reelection bid.

“I have a vision for Glenwood Springs to prioritize quality of life for our residents, strengthen our diverse economy and safeguard our neighborhoods and environment from the impacts of growth,” she said. “My experience and willingness to work through tough issues uniquely qualifies me to get the job done.”

Kaup was elected to the at-large seat in April 2017, and had previously served a term on council in her downtown ward seat from 2007-11.

Petitions to run for three City Council seats that are up for election in April were made available the first week of January.

Also to be decided in the April 6 election will be the Ward 5 seat (south Glenwood) held by current appointed Mayor Jonathan Godes, and the Ward 2 seat (west and north Glenwood) held by Ingrid Wussow, who was appointed last year to fill out the term vacated by former councilman Rick Voorhees.

Godes and Wussow both said Thursday they intend to run in the April election, but no challengers have yet emerged. Candidate petitions are due at the end of January.

Kaup, who currently serves as mayor pro-tem, pointed to several achievements over the past four years in making her formal announcement, including support for local businesses and individuals during the pandemic.

“We were among the first local governments in Colorado to put a mask order in place, and we worked closely with the Chamber and Downtown Development Authority to deal with economic impacts,” Kaup said.

“The city has loosened regulations to allow restaurants to serve customers outdoors, provided business grants from the CARES Act to businesses most impacted by the pandemic, and directed $236,000 to local charities to make sure families in our community have support and enough to eat,” she said.

Kaup also cited the city’s response to last summer’s Grizzly Creek Fire, protecting the city and its water intake system at the time of the fire, and working with federal officials to prevent erosion on fire-damaged slopes within the city’s watershed.

Kaup noted that she has also been a champion for the new in-town recycling center, contracting for renewable energy to be part of the city electric supply, making improvements to the Two Rivers Park riverbank, and numerous street and infrastructure upgrades.

“We still have a lot of work to do, but we are making progress,” Kaup said.

She said she continues to support other council members and residents in opposing the Rocky Mountain Industrials plan to greatly expand the limestone quarry on Transfer Trail.

“We have taken that fight to the highest levels of government, and we will continue to protect our community and our economy from what would be a devastating impact to our city,” Kaup said in her release.

Kaup has lived in Glenwood Springs since 1988.

jstroud@postindependent.com

Rep. Boebert issues defiant statement amid tweet storm calling for her resignation

Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., center, smiles after joining other freshman Republican House members for a group photo at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Congresswoman Lauren Boebert of Rifle fired back late Monday amid growing pressure from Democrats calling for her to resign or be censured in the aftermath of last week’s U.S. Capitol riots.

Boebert, criticized for her Twitter comments on Jan. 6 and following the violent scene led by supporters of President Trump that played out at the Capitol building, was the subject of some 23,000 tweets Monday seeking her resignation.

But a defiant Boebert said in a press statement that she’s not backing down, and said Democrats are being hypocritical.

“We should take Democrats at their word when they say never let a crisis go to waste. Their hypocrisy is on full display with talks of impeachment, censure and other ways to punish Republicans for false accusations of inciting the type of violence they have so frequently and transparently supported in the past,” Boebert said in the statement.

“And, once again, their false attacks go unchallenged,” she said, providing a long list of comments attributed to prominent Democrats and Hollywood celebrities dating back more than a decade that she said also could be construed as inciting violence.

“They accuse me of live-tweeting the Speaker’s presence after she had been safely removed from the Capitol, as if I was revealing some big secret, when it fact this removal was also being broadcast on TV,” said Boebert, who the afternoon the Capitol building was breached and members of Congress were sheltering in place tweeted “The Speaker has been removed from the chambers,” in reference to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

That morning, as Congress was set to vote to certify the Electoral College vote declaring Joe Biden’s presidential win, which Boebert formally objected to, she tweeted “Today is 1776.”

Several leading Democrats in Colorado, including from Boebert’s 3rd Congressional District, issued statements Monday calling for Boebert to be held accountable for what they said was her role in fanning the flames among Trump supporters. They used the hashtag #ResignBoebert.

“Boebert seems to believe that it is her job to be a voice for the kind of people that were rioting at the People’s House that day,” Garfield County Democrats wrote in a Post Independent op-ed.

“(She) should be removed from office before she does any further damage to our democracy,” reads the commentary provided by Garfield County Democratic Party Chairman John Krousouloudis and other local party leaders.

“We can’t afford two more years of her fanning the flames of Q-Anon, Proud Boys, and other white nationalist groups,” they wrote.

Krousouloudis added in a follow-up comment directed at Boebert and sent to the Post Independent, “Tone down the rhetoric. Read and understand the constitution and why the GOP just lost the White House, the House of Representatives and the Senate and work with others in Congress to deliver solutions for all the people in CD3.”

Kevin Kuns, chairman of the Montrose County Democratic Party, also issued a statement, saying, “Lauren Boebert is embarrassing our district. I did not vote for her, but I had hoped as her constituent that Boebert would prioritize protecting the Constitution and helping the people of our district.

“Instead, (she) has shown zero interest in upholding the Constitution and has put other people’s freedom to vote in her crosshairs by trying to overturn the results of a free and fair election. Whether Boebert’s actions were willful ignorance or purposeful insurrection to overthrow a democracy, I agree with the tens of thousands of people who tweeted #ResignBoebert today,” Kuns said.

Morgan Carroll, chairman of the Colorado Democratic Party, also decried Boebert’s conduct.

“If Lauren Boebert were a true patriot as she claimed to be, she would respect the peaceful transfer of power that is a signature part of our Constitution, end her continued peddling of conspiracy theories, and get to work for her constituents,” Carroll said. “If she will not, she should immediately resign.”

Boebert, in her statement, pointed out that Democrats objected to the Electoral College certification following the election of Republican presidents in 2001 and 2005 (George W. Bush) and Trump in 2017.

“They act as though a reference to the founding of our country and the bravery of upholding our Constitutional oath is criminal, which says a whole lot more about them than it does about me or any other Republican,” she said in the statement.

“I denounced the violence over the summer just as I did the recent events at the Capitol,” Boebert said, referring to the Black Lives Matter protests and riots following the death of George Floyd.

jstroud@postindependent.com

Congressional oaths questioned as Trump’s backers fight against loss

FILE - In this Jan. 3, 2021, file photo, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi administers the oath of office to members of the 117th Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. The oath, which normally doesn’t attract much attention, has become a common subject in the final days of the Trump presidency, being invoked by members of both parties as they met Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 to affirm Biden's win and a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol. (Bill Clark/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Before they take office, elected officials swear to uphold the U.S. Constitution. But what happens when they are accused of doing the opposite?

As some Republicans continued to back President Donald Trump’s doomed effort to overturn the election, critics — including President-elect Joe Biden — accused them of violating their oaths and instead pledging allegiance to Trump.

The oaths, which rarely attract much attention, have become a common subject in the final days of the Trump presidency, being invoked by members of both parties as they met Wednesday to affirm Biden’s win and a violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.

“They also swore on a Bible to uphold the Constitution, and that’s where they really are stepping outside and being in dereliction of duty,” said former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, a Republican who served as EPA administrator during former President George W. Bush’s administration. “They swore to uphold the Constitution against all our enemies, foreign or domestic, and they are ignoring that.”

The oaths vary slightly between government bodies, but elected officials generally swear to defend the Constitution. The U.S. Senate website says its current oath is linked to the 1860s, “drafted by Civil War-era members of Congress intent on ensnaring traitors.”

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, vowed to honor the oath she took and affirm the results of the presidential election while urging colleagues to do the same. Republican Sen. Todd Young, of Indiana, was seen in a video posted to social media telling Trump supporters outside a Senate office building that he took an oath to the Constitution under God and asked, “Do we still take that seriously in this country?”

Corey Brettschneider, a political science professor at Brown University and author of “The Oath and the Office: A Guide to the Constitution for Future Presidents,” said the oath must be taken seriously and that Americans have to demand its enforcement or “the risk is to the entire system.” He said he would support censures, a formal statement of disapproval, for officials who clearly violate their oaths.

“The worst that could happen is that people roll their eyes at the oath and they say, ‘Oh, none of them mean it,’ and I think what we’ve got to do at a time of crisis is exactly the opposite — is to say, this does mean something,” Brettschneider said. “When you break the law, you need to be held to account, and that’s what’s really up to the American people to be outraged when Trump does what he’s done.”

Republicans who have filed or supported lawsuits challenging Biden’s win in November have claimed, without evidence, that the election was rigged against Trump. Their cases have failed before courts all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Both Republican and Democratic officials have deemed the election results legitimate and free of any widespread fraud.

The oaths were mentioned often Wednesday during a joint session of Congress meant to confirm Biden’s victory. Some Republicans who launched objections to the election results claimed their oaths required them to do so, while Democrats urged their counterparts to honor their oaths and affirm Biden as the next president.

“The oath that I took this past Sunday to defend and support the Constitution makes it necessary for me to object to this travesty,” said Rep. Lauren Boebert of Rifle.

The newly elected Republican representing Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District already has come under fire from state elected officials and others calling for her resignation, saying her early morning Jan. 6 tweet “Today is 1776” contributed to the violence later that day.

As lawmakers met, violent protestors loyal to Trump stormed the Capitol in an insurrection intended to keep Biden from replacing Trump in the White House. While authorities struggled to regain control, Biden called on Trump to abide by his oath and move to ease tensions.

“I call on President Trump to go on national television now to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege,” Biden said.

The GOP effort to block the formal confirmation of Biden’s win eventually failed after Republicans recycled arguments of fraud and other irregularities that have failed to gain traction.

Democrats were quick to condemn Republicans who continued to oppose the results.

Rep. Adam Schiff of California asked, “Does our oath to uphold the Constitution, taken just days ago, mean so very little? I think not.” He added that “an oath is no less broken when the breaking fails to achieve its end.”

Rep. Cori Bush, a Democrat from Missouri, said she would introduce a resolution calling for the expulsion of Republicans who moved to invalidate the election results.

“I believe the Republican members of Congress who have incited this domestic terror attack through their attempts to overturn the election must face consequences,” she tweeted. “They have broken their sacred oath of office.”

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, said officials who continued to support Trump’s baseless claims of fraud violated their oath, and their rhetoric emboldened the rioters who stormed the Capitol.

“They have an allegiance that they have sworn — not to the Constitution and not the United States of America, but to one man, and that man is Donald Trump,” she said. “And they refuse to walk away from that no matter what he says, no matter what he does, and I think history will not judge them kindly for that.”

(Editor’s note: The Glenwood Springs Post Independent added to this AP report in regards to 3rd District Congresswoman Lauren Boebert.)

Congresswoman-elect Boebert appoints outgoing Trump, Gardner staff

RIFLE, Colo. (AP) — Congresswoman-elect Lauren Boebert of Rifle has appointed Trump administration officials and staffers for outgoing Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner to top positions in her office.

Jeff Small, current senior adviser to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, will be Boebert’s chief of staff, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported Wednesday.

Paige Agostin will be Boebert’s legislative director. She is currently associate director of domestic policy in Vice President Mike Pence’s office. Clarice Navarro, who was appointed by the Trump administration to be Colorado executive director for the Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency, has been selected as Boebert’s district director.

Ben Goldey, who is currently press secretary for the Interior Department, will serve as Boebert’s communications director.

Cathy Garcia will serve as Boebert’s southern Colorado regional director. She has held the same position with Gardner since 2015.

Boebert will represent the state’s 3rd Congressional District after beating incumbent Scott Tipton in the Republican primaries and Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush in November.