Our View: Commissioner makeup sure to change | SteamboatToday.com

Our View: Commissioner makeup sure to change

Colorado's first June primary election is less than a week away, and on a local basis, the primary represents the first step in a county commissioner race that holds more potential to change the makeup of the Routt County Board of Commissioners than at any time in recent history.

We hope the Republican voters of Routt County are not taking Tuesday's primary election for granted. There are no contested Democratic races.

One of the most interesting races in the Republican primary is the District 1 commissioner seat,­ where for the first time in two decades, there isn't an incumbent running.

Oak Creek's Nancy Stahoviak, a Republican, announced in November that she would not seek a sixth term in District 1. In recent election cycles, Stahoviak ran unopposed.

Three Republican hopefuls are lined up in Tuesday's winner-take-all primary race to earn the right to represent their party in the November general election. They are Jim "Moose" Barrows, Brita Horn and Tony Stich. One of them will face the presumed Democratic nominee, South Routt School Board President Tim Corrigan, who is running unopposed in the Democratic primary. In March, at his party's caucuses, he said he thinks the county commissioners need to draft a new mission statement to chart a new course.

Barrows, Horn and Stich each would bring something new to the Board of Commissioners in the form of business experience that extends well beyond the Yampa Valley.

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Barrows consulted with ski areas across North America and in Europe during his career. Horn worked in management positions for a major hotel chain before settling here. And Stich represented manufacturing firms supplying valves to chemical and power plants before retiring to Stagecoach.

All three Republican candidates emphasized during a recent forum in Oak Creek that, if elected, they would take into account the property rights of mineral rights holders in their approach to evaluating oil and gas drilling permit applications.

Change also could come to the District 2 seat, where incumbent Democrat Doug Monger, of rural Hayden, faces a challenge from presumed Republican nominee Tina Kyprios, a retired military officer with a background in accounting and auditing.

And finally, Commissioner Diane Mitsch Bush, whose District 3 seat is not up for election this year, is running for the Colorado House District 26 seat in the state assembly against Republican Chuck McConnell, also of Steamboat Springs.

Should she prevail, her seat would open up, and the Democratic Party Vacancy Committee would choose a successor to fill out her term, Routt County Democratic Party Chairwoman Catherine Carson confirmed.

Unopposed candidates, Republicans and Democrats, are eager to see a good turnout in the primary race so they can gauge their progress in reaching their respective voters base.

Friday is the last day to apply in person at the Routt County Clerk and Recorder's office in the Routt County Courthouse for a ballot in the all mail-in election. But the all-mail election does not mean that voters cannot hand-deliver their ballots.

Ballots can be dropped off from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

We urge you to vote in the primary election.

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