Roy wrestles with election results, future
Two days after losing her seat on the Pitkin Board of County Commissioners, Shellie Roy was the portrait of a defeated candidate – embarrassed, confused and at times defiant.In a candid interview with The Aspen Times yesterday, Roy was conversely upbeat and desolate, blinded by hindsight and simultaneously consumed by concern for the future. Since her defeat on Tuesday, she has been struggling to come to terms with the fate of a defeated incumbent- a job for eight years gone in a day.”The good thing is that I’ve only had about three hours sleep a night, so I’ve had plenty of time to think,” Roy said. “I have no clue what I’m going to do now and I am scared. I’m the full supporter of a family of three. I can’t just take a $10- or $12-an-hour job.”Roy, who served eight years on the board, will lose her seat to Democrat Michael Owsley in January. Roy was running for her final term due to a three-term limit. County Commissioners make approximately $50,000 a year.Roy apologized for criticizing her opponent’s supporters in her public comments after Tuesday’s election. Still, in yesterday’s interview, civility often gave way to defiance, as Roy lashed out at what she called the county’s “old boys’ club” of Democrats, saying she was “crushed” by their pro-Owsley campaigning.Roy, although unaffiliated, is thought by many to be right of center.”In Pitkin County, doing a good job is worth only about 25 percent, while being a Democrat is worth 75 percent,” Roy said. “There is a power structure here of Democrats that does not tolerate anybody who doesn’t sing in their choir. For eight years I’ve had to bite my tongue and tiptoe because if you say anything that’s not on their agenda, you are slammed. I am sorry I wasn’t more forceful now.”Prominent local Democrat and Commissioner Mick Ireland, who Roy singled out in her attacks, was conciliatory when contacted yesterday. He admitted to having political differences with Roy, but insisted that local Democrats had run a clean campaign.”It’s true [Democrat] supporters put out cards with Owsley’s name on it during the campaign, but we don’t tell anyone how to vote,” Ireland said. “Unfortunately, [Roy’s] hurt blinds her to the value of her service as a commissioner. I’ve been on losing ends of campaigns, and it’s difficult to accept.”Owsley, too, tried to reach out.”I think Pitkin County should be grateful to Shellie’s eight years of service,” Owsley said. “That’s what I hope she focuses on.”Roy said she is currently trying to settle her emotions and focus on an “exit strategy” once she leaves office in January. She said she feels proud of the votes she received and grateful of the support shown since her defeat.”All I ever wanted was to be of value,” she said.Eben Harrell’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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