Prowers County GOP Assembly Selects Commissioner Candidates

The Prowers County Republican Party will offer a full slate of commissioner candidates for election in November. Their county assembly was held this past Saturday, March 24, at Lamar Community College. The two candidates for District I and the two candidates for District III each garnered sufficient delegate votes to be placed on the ballot. Thirty percent was the required minimum to move forward.

The assembly, according to Janet Marriott, chairman of the Prowers County GOP party, told the packed large lecture hall, that they had 102 delegates on hand, only one short of 100% representation. Based on the attendance, Marriott said each of the four contenders required a minimum of 31 votes to be placed on the ballot for the GOP June primary. All four cleared the bar with little problem.

For District I, incumbent commissioner Henry Schnabel received 63% of the vote, with challenger Mike Parker with 37%. For District III, an open race this year with commissioner Gene Millbrand not running for re-election, Lamar Mayor Roger Stagner received 48% of the votes cast and Wendy Buxton-Andrade received 52%.

(Corrected information:
The Prowers County GOP will have a primary election this June to determine which of the two candidates for each of the two districts will face off against the Democratic contenders.  An earlier portion of this article was incorrect in the statement that the contest for all candidates would be held in the November election.)

While the main focus was on the commissioner’s race, other hopeful candidates spoke at the assembly. Three persons are seeking the State House District 64 seat, newly revised by the Colorado Supreme Court earlier this year. Bill Francis, Tim Dore and Jeff Thornton addressed the crowd, presenting a brief biography of their lives in Colorado, as well as family history’s as most are fourth or fifth generation Coloradans. Larry Crowder, a candidate with family history in southeast Colorado and running for State District 35, also spoke about his goals if elected. Current District Attorney for the 15th Judicial District, incumbent Jennifer Swanson, also addressed the crowd for their support for another term. If elected, it will be her last, as the DA’s seat is limited to only two terms.

Marriott said the Colorado Assembly will be held in Denver April 13 and 14 and the business of the day concluded with selecting 16 delegates to represent Prowers County. They are: Jeff Alexander, Kay Arends, Cathy Callison, Gary Campbell, James Farmer, Neil Fletcher, Elwood Gillis, Tom Grasmick, Doug Harbour, Douglas Melcher, Garth Neischburg, Henry Schnabel, Carla Scranton, Sue Tecklenburg, Peggy and Andy Wyatt. Doug Harbour also addressed the crowd regarding the May 8 election for board of directors for the Prowers County Hospital District. Harbour said the local organization, Voices of Southeast Colorado has scheduled a series of public hearings during which the candidates will speak on their behalf. He said a future announcement will be made when the dates have been finalized.

by Russ Baldwin

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