Darrel Levingston, a Democrat and candidate for coroner, addresses a question during a forum hosted by the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs at its weekly lunch at The Steamboat Grand. Kevin Nerney, who is unaffiliated and also is a candidate for coroner, listens in the background.

Photo by John F. Russell

Darrel Levingston, a Democrat and candidate for coroner, addresses a question during a forum hosted by the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs at its weekly lunch at The Steamboat Grand. Kevin Nerney, who is unaffiliated and also is a candidate for coroner, listens in the background.

Routt County coroner candidates tout experience

Levingston, Nerney speak at Rotary forum; Ryg unable to attend

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Kevin Nerney, candidate for Routt County coroner, addresses a question during a forum hosted by the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs at its weekly lunch at The Steamboat Grand. Nerney, who is not affiliated with a party, is running against Democrat Darrel Levingston and current coroner Rob Ryg, a Republican.

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Routt County Search and Rescue member and spokesman Darrel Levingston

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Kevin Nerney

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Routt County coroner Rob Ryg

Election calendar

Today

Forum about the impacts of proposed Proposition 101 and Amendments 60 and 61 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Rex’s American Grill & Bar. A researcher from The Bell Policy Center will participate with local entities that would be affected.

League of Women Voters candidate forum, 7 p.m. at the Steamboat Springs Community Center.

Thursday

Candidate forum hosted by the Steam­boat Pilot & Today, Steamboat Springs Board of Realtors and Routt County Democratic and Republican parties, at the Steamboat Springs Community Center. A social hour is from 5 to 6 p.m., followed by the forum.

Meeting about ballot issue 3A at 7 p.m. at the Stagecoach fire station hosted by the Improve Soroco Schools committee.

Monday

Early voting begins. Voters who didn’t request a mail-in ballot can cast a ballot at the Routt County Courthouse.

Tuesday

Candidate forum hosted by the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs, at 1 p.m. at The Steamboat Grand, featuring county sheriff candidates or their representatives. Other candidates to be announced. Rotarians and their guests are welcome.

Oct. 26

Last day to request a mail-in ballot.

Oct. 29

Early voting ends.

Nov. 2

Election Day. Polling locations will be open across the county, according to precinct.

— The two challengers taking on Routt County Coroner Rob Ryg said the emergency response and medical experience they each have would add a new dimension to the coroner’s office.

Darrel Levingston and Kevin Nerney spoke to the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs at a forum Tuesday. Ryg could not attend, but Routt County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Kurtis Luster spoke in his place.

Levingston, a Democrat, ex­­panded on his campaign platform that the coroner’s office should do more outreach to the community. He has worked for 17 years as a Routt County emergency medical technician and with Routt County Search and Rescue, and he said he would like to lend the coroner’s voice to outreach programs, especially suicide prevention.

“What really startled me, and I feel something needs to be done, is we average 118 suicide attempts in our county every year,” he said. “These aren’t transients or strangers; they’re our children and our parents.”

Nerney, who is not affiliated with a political party, took the chance to point to his credentials as New York City police officer and firefighter. He said he wants to become coroner as a way to continue his public service.

“I look at it as an extension of what I’ve done my entire adult life,” he said.

The Rotarians posed questions to the two candidates in attendance about some of the basic duties of a coroner and the most important quality.

“Empathy,” Levingston an­­swered to the latter question. “Without a doubt.”

The Routt County coroner is in charge of determining the manner and cause of death, taking the body to the morgue and breaking the news to family members.

Nerney said he agreed with Levingston that empathy to the family is important, but he said his time working in New York City also provided experience that couldn’t be gained in Steamboat Springs.

“In a small town, there just aren’t those numbers to give you that kind of experience,” he said.

Ryg was deputy coroner for seven years and has served as coroner for another seven.

The forum also had surrogates speaking for 3rd Con­gressional District candidates Scott Tipton and John Salazar.

A League of Women Voters candidate forum is at 7 p.m. today at the Steamboat Springs Community Center, and a forum hosted by the Steam­boat Pilot & Today, Steamboat Springs Board of Realtors and Routt County Democratic and Republican parties is Thursday at the Steamboat Springs Com­munity Center. A social hour is from 5 to 6 p.m., followed by the forum.

Another Rotary forum is at about 1 p.m. Tuesday at The Steamboat Grand; Rotarians and their guests are welcome.

— To reach Zach Fridell, call 871-4208 or e-mail zfridell@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

jk 4 years, 2 months ago

Nice comments lame, your name is all telling!!

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ftpheide 4 years, 2 months ago

jk, After your comment about Lyman - you shouldn't be criticizing!

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sparkle 4 years, 2 months ago

I have a difficult time with individuals who consider their paying jobs "public service." Last time I checked, there are also very good benefits involved in those positions, Mr. Nerney. I appreciate firefighters and policemen, but volunteers they are not, and public service positions such as those are rewarded with a pay check.

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