Lamar Community Well Represented During President’s Swing Trip Through the State

President Obama in Pueblo, CO.

Colorado is definitely one of the important swing states in this year’s election. President Barack Obama made four visits here last week over two days. He spoke to a crowd of approximately 3500 people at the Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo on Thursday, August 9th.

Besides the usual media announcements before the event, organizers reached out to local Democratic groups offering tickets, which were free, but had to be picked up in person in advance.

Several Prowers County citizens took advantage of the opportunity. Don Stecklein of Lamar had the best luck, being chosen to sit on stage behind the president during the speech. I (Susan Crites) was close enough to shake President Obama’s hand, as well as take a few pictures.

Former Senator Ken Salazar, currently Secretary of the Interior, mentioned Lamar by name in his introductory remarks. Another reference to our area came in President Obama’s speech, when he reminded the crowd that former president, JFK, had signed off on the Fryingpan-Arkansas water project exactly fifty years ago this summer. That got Pueblo Dam built, but the full project remains incomplete. The President told the crowd he will make sure we get the resources to finish the job.

President Obama also mentioned he was bringing a sample of Pueblo green chile home on Air Force One, in hopes the White House chef can learn how to make it.

Lamar got a few seconds of national publicity later in the day because National Public Radio used a quip I made to their reporter for the show, ‘All Things Considered’, sharing that I was a bookstore owner who had driven two hours to attend the speech. (I don’t know how much help it will be to Lamar, but my Mom was tickled pink.)

One particular item that was unusual about this event was the requirement that anyone attending who was old enough to vote had to actually BE registered to vote. Whatever your political beliefs, they do no good unless you express them at the ballot box with your fellow citizens. Call the County Clerk’s office if you need to register, or if you aren’t sure about your current eligibility status.

By Susan Crites

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