Westwater, Kien eye ballot

Republican submits petition; Libertarian nominated

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Bea Westwater likely will join the list of county commissioner candidates after submitting a petition to run as a Republican for the District 1 seat.

The petition, which she submitted Tuesday, will be checked for completeness before Westwater's name is put on the primary ballot.

Tuesday was the deadline to turn in a petition to run as a Republican or Democrat. People who want to run as unaffiliated candidates or as part of a minor party have until July 6 to turn in petitions.

Westwater could not be reached for comment. She will face incumbent Republican Nancy Stahoviak, who received overwhelming support at the county's Republican Assembly. Westwater did not receive enough votes at the assembly to get on the ballot.

Westwater and Stahoviak also will face newcomer Mike Kien, who is running as a Libertarian. Kien was not nominated at the party's statewide convention because he could not attend in person, but now is being nominated through a vacancy committee.

Michael McKinzie, the campaign director for the Libertarian Party of Colorado, said Kien already had five out of eight votes from the vacancy committee, so has the nomination.

"We're very interested in Mike Kien," McKinzie said. "Basically he's very close to the people out there. ... (He's) a man of integrity who understands the issues of Routt County and will stand up for the people of Routt County."

Kien said he stands on a platform of believing in the U.S. Constitution and doing all he can to restore constitutional protections to residents.

"I believe in the Constitution with all my heart and all my soul," Kien said.

For the District 2 seat, incumbent Democrat Doug Monger will be on the ballot, as well as newcomers Jeff Fry and Mark Marchus, both Republicans.

Fry received enough votes at the Republican Assembly to get on the primary ballot, but Marchus had to petition to get on the ballot. Marchus' petition was approved last week.

The other county position opening up this election is that of coroner. Rob Ryg, who was appointed as county coroner in January, is the only person to announce his candidacy for the position.

Ryg, who has worked with the coroner's office since 1997 and also is a pastor at the Euzoa Bible Church, is running as a Republican.

Ryg did not go through the assembly process, but petitioned to get on the ballot. His petition was verified Tuesday.

-- To reach Susan Bacon, call 871-4203

or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com

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