by Chet Hardin
John Morris, the Democrat running for the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners in District 3, has picked up one perhaps-surprising vote.
Karen Magistrelli, the Republican political newbie who challenged incumbent Sallie Clark in the primaries, says that while she doesn't agree with Morris politically, she'll be voting for him in November.
Magistrelli says she met with Morris for a long discussion, and was impressed by his honesty.
"I've been thinking a lot about it: Politically we are on the other ends of the political spectrum, but ethically we stand together," she says, adding, "I believe that he is a man of integrity, and I think that that's very important."
Magistrelli ran a relatively effective primary challenge against Clark, scoring an early victory when the Republican Party voted to place her at the top of the primary ballot.
However, she would go on to lose to Clark after questions were raised about her current business of boarding felons, including sex offenders. Further, unproven allegations of abuse at her foster-care home in the 1990s were dredged up.
Morris, the former chairman of the El Paso County Democratic Party, came into the race late, but felt it was important that Clark face a challenge:
Morris points to the controversial, and widely unpopular, 2010 ballot issue that has paved the way for Clark to seek a third term. As we reported this spring:
"I think that she really over-reached herself on this third-term thing," Morris says. "This is Sallie's retirement program; an extra third of a million dollars. And this business of manipulating the electoral process with that deceptive ballot issue, and using that for her own personal benefit. That really stinks, and somebody really needs to say that this really stinks."
Since announcing in April of this year, Morris has raised $9,949, and has $5,815 on hand.