Unfair, inaccurate label on Zuker
I am writing in regards to the letter from Michael Cleverly that appeared in the Aspen Daily News July 14 edition to clear up false statements made by Mr. Cleverly regarding Hugh Zuker, one of our candidates for Pitkin County sheriff.
I am Hugh’s campaign treasurer. I am also a proud, active, registered Democrat and a proud, active supporter of Hugh for sheriff. Before pinning a false label on someone in an attempt to conjure up demons to follow the person, Mr. Cleverly should get his facts straight.
Hugh is not a Republican; in fact, he is registered as unaffiliated. Except for a brief period, during all of his voting life, Hugh has been an independent, with no affiliation to either party. He believes in evaluating each candidate on their merits and not on some label, especially when the label is used by opponents as a smear tactic to create false impressions. Hugh did register as a Republican a few years ago so that he could vote in the Republican primary in support of a friend running for office. However, he never changed his core philosophy of independence and evaluating based on the merits. So as not to mislead voters on his true philosophy, he changed his status back to unaffiliated after making the decision to enter the sheriff’s race.
Mr. Cleverly’s letter is the very embodiment of the reason behind the change back. He is correct that this is a heavily Democratic county. So, he attempts to pin a Republican label on Hugh so that we Democrats will be afraid to vote for him. The flip side of that thinking is that Republicans should think that he is automatically in their camp and they should vote for him. With respect to Hugh, neither of those assumptions is correct. As sheriff, he will do what he has always done; he will evaluate each situation on its merits without thought to political ideologies and come to a reasoned decision that he believes is in the best interests of our citizens.
What I would ask is that the voters of Pitkin County look past attempts such as Mr. Cleverly’s to falsely pin labels on the candidates for the sheriff’s and other offices in an attempt to smear candidates and/or negatively influence voters and just listen to what they have to say. I think that if you listen to him, you will, as I have, decide that Hugh is the better choice for sheriff.
J. Cavanaugh O’Leary
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