by Pam Zubeck
Everyone has known for months that El Paso County Commissioner Sallie Clark would seek a third term, as allowed by an extension of term limits for county officials approved in 2010.
But at 11:30 a.m. next Monday, she makes her official announcement at the Pikes Peak Center, the building at 190 S. Cascade Ave. that's been managed for the county for years by the Colorado Springs World Arena.
Clark actually filed her candidacy with the Secretary of State's Office last Aug. 4, a few weeks after commissioners decided to let voters have a second shot on the term-limit question. The 2010 ballot measure asked voters to limit commissioners to three terms, rather than grant them an additional term beyond the previous restriction of two four-year terms. Some voters felt deceived, leading to a debate that ended with the promise of a new ballot measure — but not until 2012.
Commission Chair Amy Lathen is seeking her second term this year.
All three face opposition within the Republican Party and already have raised a little campaign cash.
Clark has raised $6,230 in contributions, according to campaign finance reports, with a significant sum coming from the construction and real estate industries. Makes sense, considering the commissioners have thrust themselves into the real estate market recently with the purchase of the Intel building and remodeling projects of other county facilities.
For example, James Johnson, owner of GE Johnson, which landed the $500,000-plus remodeling work at the Citizens Service Center (Intel facility), gave Clark $2,000 about a month after she filed her candidacy affidavit.
Hisey filed his candidacy on Aug. 12 and has raised $1,400. Lathen, who filed for office April 12, has raised $2,275.
Challengers Karen Magistrelli, running against Clark; Auddie Cox, running against Hisey, and Phil McDonald, running against Lathen, haven't reported raising any money. The next filing date is June 5, which is 21 days prior to the primary election.
Whether Magistrelli, Cox or McDonald even make it to the primary election will be determined starting with the Feb. 7 caucuses where voters elect delegates to the Republican county assembly where votes will be cast in March. Candidates must receive 30 percent of the delegate vote to be placed on the primary ballot, and at least 10 percent in order to petition onto the ballot. Or, candidates can sidestep the assembly and simply petition onto the ballot, which has been done frequently, including by U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn and former Commissioner Chuck Brown.