Candidate pulls out after e-mail is made public | AspenTimes.com

Candidate pulls out after e-mail is made public

Carrie Click
Glenwood Springs Post Independent

The pool of candidates for the Re-1 school board election is evaporating around the edges.

Bob Guion, a candidate for District A (Basalt area), is the second person to withdraw from the race this week.

Guion joins Rick Chavez, who withdrew Monday from his bid for a board seat in District C (Glenwood Springs). That leaves nine candidates vying for five seats in the Nov. 4 election.

Guion, vice president of marketing at Hypercar in Basalt, announced his withdrawal through an e-mail sent to Roaring Fork School District school board members and administrators on Thursday. Guion also sent an e-mail to the Post Independent announcing his decision.

When reached for comment, Guion said he’d like his e-mail statement to speak for him. It reads, in part, “After serious consideration, I’ve decided to withdraw from the school board election.

“Commitments to family, my work at Hypercar and serving as a Board of Director and volunteer on the Basalt Fire Department leave me little spare time. I believe the school board needs the commitment of someone who has both the time and the vision to make a difference for our children,” the e-mail continued.

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`Outside the box’

On Thursday morning, Bill Shirley, the incumbent running in a three-way race with Michael Bair and Guion for the District A seat, faxed to the Post Independent an e-mail written by Guion on Tuesday, before he resigned.

That e-mail entered the public record Wednesday when it was distributed by Re-1 superintendent Fred Wall.

In his first e-mail, Guion said he was declining to participate in the three community forums for candidates being organized in Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs.

“I don’t believe my position on a number of issues would be particularly well-received by the audiences that typically attend these types of events,” he wrote. “I would hope that it’s not viewed as disrespectful to the other candidates.

“I’m simply a nontraditional person who frequently operates outside the box,” Guion added.

Wall said the board informally agreed not to “make an issue” out of Guion’s letter and distribute it to the press.

“We never had any intention of hiding anything,” Wall said. “We just felt it was a campaign issue, and we didn’t want to take an active role in the election by siding one way or the other.”

Wall said he figured that when Guion didn’t show up for the forums, the public would naturally want to know where he was, and his reasons for not participating would come out at that time.

But Shirley said he decided to share the letter with the Post Independent anyway. “It was my strategy to defeat the guy,” he explained.

It worked

Apparently, Shirley’s strategy worked. By the end of the day Thursday, Guion had withdrawn from the race. That leaves Bair and Shirley running for the District A seat.

Shirley said there are no hard feelings between him and Guion, although he said he might have played the scenario differently if given a second chance.

“I’m on a learning curve,” Shirley said.

In the meantime, Guion is throwing his vote to Shirley.

“I’ll be asking all my supporters and friends to vote for Bill Shirley as the person that can best represent the interests of the community in this important position,” Guion stated. “He has the energy and focus to make a real difference in the future.”

The first of three community forums will be held at Glenwood Springs City Hall from 6-8 p.m., Monday, Sept. 29. A second forum at the Basalt Middle School auditorium will be held from 6:30-9 p.m., on Wednesday, Oct. 1, and a third at the Roaring Fork High School auditorium from 6:30-9 p.m., on Monday, Oct. 6.

[Carrie Click’s e-mail address is cclick@postindependent.com]

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