Dunahay to carry Republican banner in Eagle County commissioner race
AVON — Michael Dunahay wants to bring his business savvy to county government and is running for Eagle County commissioner.
The former business executive announced Friday he will run against Jill Ryan for the District 1 seat, representing the eastern end of the valley. Commissioners are elected at-large by the entire county.
“I feel it’s my civic duty. I have the time, I have the energy and I think the community has the need for someone like myself,” Dunahay said.
Dunahay retired young from a successful career as an investor and principal partner in information technology, health care and pharmaceutical companies.
Dunahay was born and raised in Colorado, and his roots run deep, he said. His grandparents were born in the Pueblo area.
He learned to ski in Vail in 1964, and he his family have been homeowners ever since, first in Vail and now Beaver Creek.
“I’ve seen growth, both the positives and negatives,” Dunahay said. “I have some ideas about some changes and redevelopments that this position might bring to fruition.”
He said he’ll roll out those ideas as the campaign unfolds toward November.
Flying Saucer house
You may not know Dunahay, but you’ve probably seen the iconic Flying Saucer house he used to own in Genesee as you drive to or from Denver.
“I shared that house with the people of Colorado for charity events and all kinds of special events,” he said. “It was such a joy to have people in my home.”
Among the local beneficiaries were the Vail Valley Foundation, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and local schools, he said.
“People almost always said, ‘I always wanted to come here,’ to which I replied, ‘So did I,’” Dunahay said.
Timing is everything
Dunahay had decided at the last minute to run for U.S. Congress in Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District. At the Republican congressional assembly April 8, Dunahay lost to Nicholas Morse and failed to qualify for the primary.
Morse will now face Democrat Jared Polis in the general election.
Dunahay was reading the Vail Daily and spotted Kaye Ferry’s ad recruiting candidates for Eagle County’s Board of County Commissioners. Ferry chairs the Eagle County Republicans, and her ad piqued his interest.
“It listed the qualifications, and I match those qualifications,” Dunahay said.
Former Eagle County Republican Chairman Randy Milhoan dropped out last week, and Dunahay stepped up to run.
“We’re thrilled that someone with his record of success stepped up,” Ferry said.
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Encouraged by a two-week decline in the county’s coronavirus case numbers, Garfield County is seeking permission to adopt a 5-Star business variance program which would allow certified businesses to operate under looser restrictions then where the county is on the COVID-19 dial.