Primary election

GOP voters should pick Tipton, Beauprez, Neal and Candelaria, Davis, Nowlin and Deavers

Republican voters face three statewide choices in this year’s Colorado primary. They will be picking their party’s nominees for U.S. representa­tive, for state Board of Education member and for governor. The Journal urges a vote for incumbents U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton and Marcia Neal and for Bob Beauprez.

There are no primary races in any other parties.

GOP voters can mail their ballots or drop them off at the office of the Montezuma County Clerk & Recorder at 140 West Main, Suite 1. (There will other drop-off points for the general election, but the clerk’s office is the only one for the primary.) Either way, bal­lots must be returned – not just postmarked – by 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 24.

Tipton is run­ning for his third term represent­ing Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District. He has a solidly conservative vot­ing record and has grown more accessible over time. Republican voters should endorse him.

His opponent is David Cox, a peach farmer from Palisade. On his website, he says: “Our repre­sentatives disregard and disre­spect the law of the land” — but offers nothing to show how that applies to Tipton.

Marcia Neal is the Board of Education member from the 3rd Congressional District. She has an extensive résumé and a solid record of experience in education and as a small busi­ness owner.

Neal’s opponent is Barbara Ann Smith. She makes it sound as if she thinks she is running against President Obama.

The GOP race for governor is a four-way contest that is likely ben­efiting Gov. John Hickenlooper’s re-election chances.

Mike Kopp is a former state senator with strong conserva­tive stands and just about zero name recognition. Scott Gessler is Colorado’s secretary of state, but his office has had budget problems and his efforts to prevent fraud look too much like an attempt to suppress voter turnout. Tom Tancredo is a former con­gressman and presidential candi­date whose single-minded focus on illegal immigration has left him tarred as extreme.

Bob Beauprez has an exemplary record as a farmer, banker and rancher. He served two terms in Congress and is familiar to Colorado voters. He has the endorsements of his one-time opponent, state Sen. Greg Brophy, as well as Durango’s state Sen. Ellen Rob­erts and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. He is the clear choice for Republicans who put competence and potential success in November over ideological pu­rity.

In local races, the Journal has endorsed Jim Candelaria for county commissioner in District 1, William Scott Davis for county assessor, Steve Nowlin for Montezuma County Sheriff, and George W. Deavers for coroner.

Jim Candelaria has the county’s economy as his priority and is familiar with the concrete issues facing the county, particularly land-use questions. He will work toward practical solutions for practical concerns.

William Scott Davis is now acting assessor and has served for 12 years as deputy assessor. He knows the office and the issues facing it. He has done a good job, is the best qualified and deserves to be elected.

Steve Nowlin will be a different kind of sheriff, the kind Montezuma County needs. Under the incumbent, the sheriff’s office has been plagued by scandal and controversy. Nowlin would bring experience, focus and a quiet professionalism. He has a clear understanding what it takes to run the sheriff’s office, and no desire to be a politician. And no, he will not trample on our constitutional rights.

George W. Deavers has been the chief deputy coroner for 11 years. He understands the job, its cultural aspects and the coroner’s responsibilities in Colorado. He is ready to step into the job on the first day and should be given that chance.

Vote for Tipton, Beauprez, Neal, Candelaria, Davis, Nowlin and Deavers.