- Tuesday, October 5, 2010, 7 p.m.
- Wednesday, October 6, 2010, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
- Routt County Fairgrounds, 398 S. Poplar St., Hayden, CO
Steamboat Springs The local election season is heating up, with candidate forums scheduled for South Routt and Hayden during the next two nights. Both forums will provide the opportunity for candidates to introduce themselves and their stance on a variety of issues.
The League of Women voters is holding today’s 7 p.m. South Routt candidates forum at the South Routt School District offices in Oak Creek. Ray Birch, Hayden’s police chief, and a group of other Hayden residents are organizing a candidates forum at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Routt County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall.
Bill Auer, who is organizing the South Routt forum for the League of Women Voters, said the group has been hosting forums for as long as he can remember.
“They basically want to get people involved in politics,” he said. “They set up a nonpartisan forum. They’re very good at it. They’ve been doing it in this community for a long time.”
Auer said the forum starts immediately after the Soroco High School Booster Club’s Homecoming chili cook-off. He encouraged people to stop by for chili and stay for the forum.
Auer said he’s still waiting on confirmation from some candidates, but voters should expect to see Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall and Republican challenger Garrett Wiggins; unopposed Routt County Treasurer Jeanne Whiddon; unopposed Routt County Commissioner Diane Mitsch Bush; and Scott Tipton, the Republican challenger to U.S. Rep. John Salazar.
Birch, who is organizing the forum outside of his capacity as police chief, said Tipton also has indicated he will attend the Hayden forum.
Also scheduled to appear at the Hayden forum are Wall and Wiggins; Routt County coroner candidate Darrel Levingston; Mitsch Bush; Whiddon; unopposed Routt County Clerk Kay Weinland; and Democrat Steve Ivancie and Libertarian Mike Kien, who are challenging Rep. Randy Baumgardner for the Colorado House District 57 seat. Baumgardner, a Republican, has said he might attend the forum, Birch said.
He said some candidates who can’t attend are sending representatives. The same is true for the South Routt forum, Auer said.
Birch said most of the candidates vying for the Hayden Town Council also have indicated they will attend the forum there. They include incumbents Lorraine Johnson, Jim Haskins, Tim Redmond, Tom Rogalski, and challengers Bryan Strickland and Dallas Robinson. Birch said Chuck Grobe, a Town Council member running unopposed for mayor, and Pam Gann, who is vying for a seat on the council, are scheduled to be out of town.
Birch said it’s important to give Hayden residents the opportunity to meet and ask questions of the candidates without leaving their community.
“I think it’s important in today’s times with the economic situation, people are having a hard time,” Birch said. “I think people are frustrated, and they need the opportunity to voice their opinion or be there to at least listen to what the candidates have in mind, a way forward or what will happen in the future.”
Each forum will allow the candidates to introduce themselves before answering questions from the audience.