Latest News – June 24

County, State Primary Election Today – 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Did you know that Lake County is the only county in Colorado that has ever led a successful recall election for its Sheriff? While it’s not exactly the claim to fame any community is looking for, it’s certainly a testament to how contentious law enforcement can be in a small mountain town.Sheriff_Logo

Back in 2001, it wasn’t the Sheriff, but rather one of his deputies that was at the center of the scandal (LINK). Regardless, the boss is the boss and that was the way Lake County residents saw it. After garnering the necessary signatures to put the petition on the ballot, they went to the polls in May and made history by becoming the first county in Colorado to ever give an elected Sheriff the old heave ho! Most would agree that the recall process left lasting scars on the Lake County political scene.

No doubt, it takes a lot to wear the badge of the highest ranking law enforcement official in a community like Leadville. Not only are you dealing with crimes and infractions, but more often than not, it’s someone you know: a friend, a neighbor or even a relative. And in today’s day and age, there seems to be endless ways that public safety can be at risk, from cyber crimes that encroach on a remote community that might not otherwise encounter such hoodlums, to neighbors who can’t find common ground or solutions to ongoing feuds.

But Lake County residents take the office of Sheriff quite seriously and today – June 24 – registered voters will take the first step in deciding who will wear that badge for the next four years. govote-copy copyPrimary elections will be held at the Lake County Courthouse located at 505 Harrison Avenue in downtown Leadville. From 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. voters affiliated with a major party (Democrat or Republican) may cast a ballot for candidates of that party.

From there, the nominated candidates from each party’s primary ballot will be placed on the General Election ballot to be held November 4, 2014. 

So here’s the run down on who’s “gunning” for Sheriff, as well as other candidates who will be waiting on tomorrow’s results to see if they are voted through to the next level. So get out to the polls and have your voice heard, it’s always better to represent, than to recall!.

Of the six Lake County offices up for election, only two are contested races. So while registered Lake County Democrats will see the candidates for Clerk and Recorder, Treasurer, Assessor and Coroner on their ballots, these candidates are running unopposed in the primary and general elections. In other words, they’ve already won!

Incumbent and candidiate for Lake County Commissioner Dolores Semsack addresses the Democratic Assembly on March 15.

Incumbent and candidate for Lake County Commissioner Dolores Semsack addresses the Democratic Assembly on March 15.

There are four candidates running for Sheriff: two on the Democratic ticket and two on the Republican ticket. Registered Lake County Democrats can vote for either incumbent Sheriff Rodney Fenske or challenger Tony Medina. Registered Republicans can cast their ballot for either Saige Bertolas or Daniel Hanson.

The other contested local race is for Lake County Commissioner, District One. Democrats will be able to cast a vote for either Incumbent Commissioner Dolores Semsack or challenger Gloria Gonzales. Whoever wins that primary will move on to the general election to take on the sole Republican candidate for Commissioner, Charlie O’Leary.

Of course, electors will also see all of the state offices included on the primary election ballot. But most readers have probably seen their share of political literature and advertisements vying for those votes, so that’s enough said for today’s primary election.

Oh, maybe one more thing. Remember to bring a picture ID to verify voter registration and a smile for all those hard-working election judges. And stay tuned to Leadville Today where you can find immediate election results via Facebook and Twitter, as well as a full report on the website.

Good Luck Candidates!

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