by Edie Flanagin
WALSENBURG- Saturday morning, April 3, was a good day for local Democratic Candidates. Art Bobian, Judy Benine, Della Duran, Bruce Newman, Debra Reynolds, and Chuky Sandoval were all smiles after the 46 precinct delegates moved to nominate them by acclamation for the six open county offices. The offices and candidates appearing on the fall ballot for the Democrats are: Art Bobian- County Commissioner; Judy Benine- County Clerk; Della Duran- County Coroner; Bruce Newman-Sheriff; Debra Reynolds- County Treasurer; and Chuky Sandoval- County Assessor. Each of these candidates are incumbents with strong records of success.
The only state-wide election considered at the County Assembly was for the Office of US Senator. The delegates split their support for the two candidates, Andrew Romanoff and Michael Bennet. Bennet was appointed by Governor Ritter after Senator Ken Salazar left the senate to become the Secretary of the Interior. Many Colorado Democrats felt the appointment of Michael Bennett a mistake. However, during his short time in the Senate, Bennet has been actively pursuing progressive legislation which has garnered the support of many local Democrats. Andrew Romanoff has a proven track record in State Offices; he was Speaker of the House in Denver for eight years. Romanoff was instrumental in getting Referendum C passed in 2006. There were no Michael Bennett election staff present, however Andrew Romanoff sent several staff members to Walsenburg Saturday morning. They arranged for Nancy Dick, former Colorado State Senator from District 2, and resident of Huerfano County to speak on Andrew Romanoff’s behalf. David Gnaizda spoke on behalf of Senator Bennett. After the presentations, the written ballots were tallied. Andrew Romanoff received 29 votes, Bennet received 13 votes, and four undecided votes. The final results mean that Huerfano County will send four Romanoff delegates (Steve Wachterman, Joan and Bill Breternitz and County Commissioner Art Bobian) to the State Assembly and two Bennet delegates (Joann Tomsic and David Gnaizda.) Everyone agreed the campaign for the Democratic nomination will be interesting and that whoever wins the nomination will be whole heartedly supported by Huerfano County Democrats.
Also on the agenda were several platform suggestions from Huerfano County. These suggestions will be sent to the State platform committee for consideration.
~ Opposition to Propositions 60 & 61 and Amendment 101
~ Support of Alternative Energy in the county as long as they follow the land use guidelines.
~Support of an increase in the energy industry severance taxes.
~Opposition of Pinon Canyon expansion
~Support the recognition that Coal Bed Methane extraction is environmentally damaging to land and water.
~Support an increase in ARRA funds for rural areas like Huerfano County.
The State Assembly is scheduled for May 21 and 22 in Broomfield, Colorado.