Photos by Pam Zubeck
More than 1,100 delegates braved a snowy day to attend the El Paso County Republican assembly; several hundred alternate delegates also showed up.
Republican voters in El Paso County
will have a choice in three soon-to-be-vacated county commissioner districts in the June 28 primary election, after delegates at the GOP county assembly Saturday placed two candidates each in Districts 2 and 4, while District 3 already has a candidate who has qualified via petition who will face the assembly nominee.
All three positions are seats now held by Amy Lathen
, District 2; Sallie Clark
, District 3, and Dennis Hisey
in District 4.
All are barred from seeking a fourth term due to term limits.
Hisey and Clark were barred from seeking a fourth term. Lathen could have sought a third term under a previous voter-approved measure to allow her a third term but chose not to.
Rodney Gehrett chose purple as his campaign color.
, the western district, was the most hotly contested with four candidates at the assembly. Candidates have to get 30 percent to be on the ballot. The assembly outcome: Sheriff's Commander Rodney Gehrett
, 18 percent; congressional aide Jarred Rego
, 24 percent; Javier Mazzetti,
20 percent, and the winner Stan VanderWerf
, 38 percent.
VanderWerf will face Karen Cullen
, who petitioned onto the ballot, and possibly former Green Mountain Falls mayor Tyler Stevens
, who plans to petition on.
District 4, south: Joan Lucia-Treese
, 6 percent; Scott Turner,
37 percent and Longinos Gonzalez,
Rep. Lamborn spoke in support of Jarred Rego.
District 2, east: Sherri Gibson
, 23 percent; Mark Waller
, 32 percent, and Tim Geitner
, 45 percent.
Clark, who was on hand at the assembly, later said the dueling candidate rosters show the system works.
"Thanks to the process, Republican voters are going to have the opportunity to get to know the candidates before the June primary," Clark said in a text message. "We have some great choices."
In State House District 15 (being vacated by Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt
, Dave Williams
kept Joshua Hosler
off the ballot, winning 72 percent, and in House District 16, incumbent Rep. Janak Joshi
was nominated by acclamation, although Larry Liston
has petitioned onto the primary ballot.
Senate District 12 also could have a primary, with Klingenschmitt
going through the assembly while former state Rep. Bob Gardner
has submitted sufficient signatures to make the ballot by petition.
Nearly 1,200 delegates crowded into the Gallogly Event Center at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to hear a parade of U.S. Senate candidates preach on why they should be chosen to face off with Sen. Michael Bennet
, a Democrat.
Drawing the biggest applause was El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn
when, during a revival-type rousing speech, he said, "Hillary Clinton needs to be removed from her pant suit and put into a jump suit."
The results in commissioner District 3 proved it's not who you know, because despite Sheriff Bill Elder
nominating Gehrett and U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn calling for Rego's nomination, neither got enough votes to appear on the primary ballot.
VanderWerf told the crowd that experience counts and pointed to his long tenure in the military. He vowed not to raise taxes, reduce the homeless population, increase county efficiency and work with other officials to get a federal courthouse in Colorado Springs. He also promised transparency in government and to support the region's military bases.