Routt County Democrats start search for new county commissioner

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Diane Mitsch Bush

Replacement process

Dec. 5: Diane Mitsch Bush to resign. Deadline to submit application for her commissioner seat.

Dec. 7: Routt County Democratic Party selection committee will meet to select candidates to interview.

Dec. 8 and 9: Candidates are interviewed. New commissioner is selected.

— The Routt County Democratic Party on Sunday started its search for a county commissioner candidate to replace Diane Mitsch Bush.

Mitsch Bush, the representative-elect for House District 26, will step down Dec. 5 from the Routt County Board of Commissioners and continue to prepare for her new role at the statehouse.

Interested Democrats who reside in District 3, which covers most of the city of Steamboat Springs, have until Dec. 5 to fill out an application for her seat.

County Democratic Party Chairwoman Catherine Carson said the party's six-member vacancy committee then will vet the applications and agree on a list of finalists Dec. 7. The candidates will be interviewed Dec. 8.

Carson added that the vetting and interview process will be open to the public.

“This process will be completely open, transparent and accountable,” Carson said Sunday after announcing the process to fill the seat. “There's a lot of caring, dedicated folks in District 3, and we're looking forward to selecting a candidate to continue Diane's hard work.”

Carson predicted it would be tough to replace Mitch Bush, but she was confident the party would receive some strong candidates to choose from.

Mitsch Bush is the representative-elect for House District 26 serving Routt and Eagle counties. She defeated Steamboat Springs Republican Chuck McConnell in the Nov. 6 election.

Carson said Mitsch Bush will resign from her seat Dec. 5, which will give the Democratic Party 10 days to pick her replacement.

Applicants for the seat must be registered Democrats who have lived in District 3 for at least a year.

“This is an important decision,” Carson said about finding a new commissioner.

As the application process begins, two local Democrats who previously have served on the Steamboat Springs City Council already have publicly expressed their interest in the seat.

Ken Brenner, who currently serves as a trustee for Colorado Mountain College, and former Steamboat City Council member Steve Ivancie told the Steamboat Today earlier this month that they were considering applying for the job.

At the same time, Carson said the party had “absolutely zero favorites and zero front runners."

In addition to Carson, the selection committee includes First Vice Chairman Jack Dysart, Vice Chairman Paul Bonnifield, Secretary Stuart Beall, Marlyn Myers and Lynn LaFoe.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com

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