We interrupt your regular summer programming

Brief by Central Staff

Local Politics – July 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

Okay, it’s summer, and you’d rather dig postholes than pay attention to politics. We understand, but we’ve got to do our job.

There’s no U.S. Senate race in Colorado this year, and the only statewide office contest is for secretary of state, to fill out the term of Vicki Buckley, who died in 1999, early in her second term.

Which brings us to Congress, and we’re in the Third District. The incumbent is Republican Scott McInnis of Grand Junction, first elected in 1992, and telling us then that he believed in term limits — three terms would be enough.

Now he’s looking for his fifth term, and he’s received more than $1 million in campaign contributions.

For a while, we feared he might be running without opposition, but now he’s got an official Democratic opponent: our friend Curtis Imrie of Buena Vista (actually, of rural Chaffee County northwest of Bjüni). Curtis said he plans to run an aggressive campaign, focusing on his themes of “Donkeys, Drama, and Democracy.”

We were talking to Curtis because, among other things, there wasn’t a Democratic candidate to oppose Ken Chlouber for state senate, and Curtis was recruiting when he called. Chlouber, a Leadville Republican and former Lake County commissioner, served in the House for about a decade.

Four years ago, he won a close race (and the most expensive state senate race in Colorado history) against Senate incumbent Linda Powers, a Crested Butte Democrat (who’s now the mayor there).

Now there is a Democratic candidate, Larry Moser of Crawford. We know him a bit, since he moved to that area eight years ago to fill in for Ed and Betsy Marston at High Country News while they took a sabbatical from their Paonia labors.

Then there’s the state house of representatives. Most of Central Colorado is in the 61st district, ably represented by Carl Miller of Leadville, who should qualify for an endangered-species listing because he’s about the only labor Democrat left in Colorado.

He will be opposed by Ken Swinehart, an Alamosa Republican, who may be best known as the webhoncho for amigo.net.

The hottest local race is probably in Chaffee County, for one commissioner’s seat, and it will be settled in the August primary. Incumbent Republican Frank McMurray is being challenged by Joe De Luca, who has actively sought Democratic support by asking registered Democrats to switch their affiliation so they can vote for De Luca in the primary.

Since there is no Democratic candidate, the winner of the primary will be the next commissioner. And we’ll try to have more about that race next month.

Now, you’ve done your civic duty, and so have we, so we can return to the postholes or whatever.