Mancos residents go to caucuses

Delegates will go to county caucus

Republicans and Democrats from Mancos, designated as Precinct 11, gathered in caucus meetings for the first step in the mid-term election process March 4.

Both groups elected delegates to the county caucuses, decided on resolutions to take to the county assemblies and voiced support for certain candidates.

The elected Republican delegates will go on to the Montezuma County general assembly on March 21 to select the local republican candidates that will be on the ballot.

Candidates that receive 30 percent of the vote at the county caucus progress to the primary election. If candidates don't receive enough votes, they have the option to petition for support.

At the Republican caucus held at the Mancos community center, 14 delegates were elected to attend the county assembly on March 21

Undersheriff Lynda Carter addressed the crowd on behalf of incumbent Sheriff Dennis Spruell.

Carter said Spruell had worked to improve pretrial services and regain the public's trust after the former Undersheriff Robin Cronk was arrested for embezzlement.

"Our doors are always open. Our phone lines are always open," Carter said of the office's transparency.

A letter from candidate Dianne Fox outlined extensive experience in law enforcement, especially as a school resource officer.

"She is cancer-free, feeling blessed, and excited about the well-rounded experience in life, and in law enforcement she can bring to the helm of the sheriff's office," Fox's letter stated.

Steve Nowlin outlined his career in law enforcement including years as a detective and state trooper in his letter.

He promised to bring accountability and quality training to the sheriff's department, "all with being fiscally responsible to the taxpayers of Montezuma County," he wrote.

The delegates also heard from Scott Davis, a candidate for county assessor who promised to continue putting pressure on oil and gas companies like Kinder Morgan. Davis worked under former County Assessor Mark Vanderpool.

"I'm trying to advance everything Mark did," Davis said.

A straw poll was conducted for Republican senate and mayor candidates.

Among the five Republican candidates challenging Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, Colorado State Sen. Randy Baumgardner, R-Hot Sulphur Springs, and Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, received the most unofficial support.

Among the seven Republican candidates for governor, Tom Tancredo, a former state legislator and active voice in the immigration debate, received the most votes in the straw poll.

The delegates also passed a resolution to encourage the Republican party to nullify laws that violate the U.S. Constitution. The resolution did not name any laws specifically, but Jim Mahlberg, who introduced the resolution, cited Obamacare and The Patriot Act as examples of laws that should be nullified.

At the Democratic caucus at the Mancos Public library, six delegates were elected to go on to the county assembly on March 22.

The Mancos Democrats voiced their support for Sen. Mark Udall and Buffie McFadyen, who is going up against incumbent Rep. Scott Tipton R-Cortez in November.

McFadyen, a Pueblo County commissioner, has served in the Colorado state legislature.

The Democrats also passed 17 resolutions to direct the party platform including four brought by Mancos residents. There are no Democratic candidates for local office.

"Unfortunately, Montezuma County is so Republican - 60 percent of registered voters - that no one feels that they have a chance getting a local position," Laird Carlson said in an email.

The four resolutions introduced by local delegates included one to encourage creating a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants and one to encourage political groups to pay taxes and disclose donors.

The local party members also voiced support for a state bill that would allow voters to register on Election Day and a federal constitutional amendment that would overturn a Supreme Court decision that allowed heavy spending by corporations and unions.