County seat to open; one makes bid

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— Routt County Commissioner Dan Ellison, who holds the District 3 seat, announced Wednesday that he will not run for re-election.

The announcement comes after the recent filing for the position by Diane Mitsch Bush, vice chairwoman of the Routt County Planning Commission.

Mitsch Bush, a retired sociology professor, filed Nov. 16, the day after she announced plans to run at a Democratic Party meeting.

"I love this county and want to serve this county, and I would like to continue to serve the people of this county," she said Wednesday.

Mitsch Bush has been a member of the Planning Commission since 1996 and vice chairwoman since 1997. She is a member of the Growth Management Advisory Group, which presented a final report to the City Council this week. Mitsch Bush also served as a member of Vision 2020, a joint committee between Routt County and Steamboat Springs.

Mitsch Bush said her leadership style focuses on collaboration and cooperation.

"I have learned over time that when people get together face to face at the table, they agree on a lot more than they thought," she said.

Mitsch Bush has made steps in preparation for her race. She said she has spoken with several county department leaders, some officials from local nonprofits and Sandy Evans-Hall of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association. Mitsch Bush said she had many more people to contact and that she intended to attend meetings in Oak Creek, Hayden and Steamboat Springs.

"I want to be a commissioner for all of Routt County," she said. Mitsch Bush said she could be reached at dianeforroutt@springsips.com.

Ellison, whose third four-year term is winding down, announced his decision not to run during Wednesday's Rep--ublican Central Committee meeting.

"It's been enjoyable, but there comes a time when you're ready to leave," he said in a phone interview Wednesday.

Being a commissioner is a full-time position, and Ellison said he had not decided what to do in the future. He said he and his wife likely would spend time in Loveland with their daughters.

Ellison said he shared his plan early so the Republican Party would have time to find a candidate.

"I hope there would be a good Republican to step up and fill the seat," he said. "I think there's some good people out there who may want to run in the party, some people who would be very good at it."

-- To reach Dana Strongin, call 871-4229 or e-mail dstrongin@steamboatpilot.com

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