by Ralph Routon
UPDATE, 7/9: Our original post on this topic stated that El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa did not attend the picnic event. In fact, he did attend, as is indicated below. The error was ours, as our reporter left before Maketa arrived.
We regret the error. For a full apology related to this and another error in our reporting on the sheriff's race, click here.
(Editor's note: Because of a computer glitch, this piece has been re-posted by Ralph Routon.)
Everybody who's anybody showed up Tuesday at the El Paso County Republican Women's Club Annual Picnic in the Park.
About 150 people stood in line for hot dogs, beans and chips and chowed down as candidates barked promises from the podium in Antlers Park.
Amid the almost all-white crowd, two of the area's most recognizable African-Americans stood out: former State Sen. Ed Jones and Springs Councilman Darryl Glenn, who's running for a county commission seat now held by term-limited Wayne Williams. Williams, decked out in cowboy duds Tuesday, is seeking the clerk and recorder post.
Jake Shirk, the Monument police chief running for sheriff, was on hand for the event that started at 11:30 a.m., but incumbent Terry Maketa didn't show up until shortly before 1 p.m., the time at which the event was slated to end. There were no Maketa signs at the event, while the grass and even the train engine display were strewn with campaign materials.
Peggy Littleton, running for the city district on the county commission now held by Jim Bensberg, was in her best Sarah Palin togs and asked for help in making "Michael Merrifield permanently unemployed." State Rep. Merrifield, a Democrat, is also seeking the commission seat.
Speeches rang out in typical conservative themes.
Treasurer candidate J.J. Ament said he doesn't dislike Democrats. "I just don't think they should ever hold public office," he said.
Attorney General John Suthers, trying to win a second term, announced Democrats have labeled him "Enemy No. 1" for his joining a lawsuit that challenges the legality of President Obama's health reform bill.
"This is a huge expansion of federal power," he said. "This next election is about the scope and breadth of federal power." He then begged for money, saying the Dems are raising "lots of money" to support his Democratic opponent Stan Garnett.
Jane Norton, seeking the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, delivered her normal stands: pro-life, pro-business, pro-Second Amendment, pro-freedom, and pledged to repeal "Obamacare," balance the budget without a tax increase, eliminate earmarks and bailouts.
Her opponent, Ken Buck, didn't show but his wife dropped in.
Both Republicans seeking the gubernatorial nomination, Scott McInnis and Dan Maes, were on hand, although McInnis came more than an hour after the event got under way.