Pitkin County primary races beginning to take shape, though it’s early
Two candidates already have already declared their intentions to run for elected office in Pitkin County this year, though the primary races won’t be solidified until the end of April.
The two Aspen-based seats on the Pitkin Board of County Commissioners will be open, while the offices of sheriff, assessor, and clerk and recorder also will appear on the June primary and November general election ballots this year. All are four-year terms.
“Just last week, we finished up the ballot access packet,” Pitkin County Clerk and Recorder Janice Vos Caudill said Friday. “It is now posted, and if people want to review it, … they can do so at PitkinVotes.com.”
The packet, which outlines Pitkin County’s unique election law quirks, as well as campaign finance rules, will be available to prospective candidates March 28, Vos Caudill said.
Unlike the other 63 counties in Colorado, Pitkin County has a Home Rule Charter, which provides a different mechanism for candidates to appear on the ballot. Instead of caucusing with one of the political parties, candidates here must obtain at least 100 signatures of registered Pitkin County voters to be eligible for the ballot.
Those signature petitions will not be accepted back at the Clerk’s Office until April 11 at the earliest, though they must be submitted by April 22, Vos Caudill said. The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office certifies the June 28 primary ballot April 29, she said.
Party caucuses do occur in Pitkin County, but the Home Rule Charter says a party affiliation is not necessary for ballot representation.
This year, county commissioner District 1 — currently held by Commissioner Patti Clapper — and District 2 — occupied by Commissioner Kelly McNicholas Kury — are up for reelection. Clapper is about to finish her second term — though she previously served three terms with a four-year gap between the two stints. McNicholas Kury is in her first term in office. Neither had officially declared their intentions with the Clerk and Recorder’s Office as of Friday.
Commissioners can serve a maximum of three consecutive terms.
Also on the ballot in June will be the office of Pitkin County sheriff. Current Sheriff Joe DiSalvo has officially announced he will run for a fourth term in office, this time as a Democrat instead of an Independent. First-term Pitkin County Assessor Deb Bamesberger also has officially filed to run, again.
The clerk and recorder’s job is in a bit of a different situation this go-around.
Vos Caudill announced earlier this month that she will retire in April, about nine months before the end of her current term. Pitkin County is currently accepting resumes for a replacement, scheduled to be named by commissioners by March. The person named will have to decide quickly if they want to run for a new term in office with the April deadlines coming quickly on the heels of the interim announcement.
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