The Republican party (which term I use loosely as this isn’t a very festive “party”) has had a little over two and a half weeks to digest the ending of a grueling, divisive & ugly Presidential contest. Republicans do not need Democrats to smear and tear into them as the Republican infighting has done plenty of damage.
Many people with “Republican” on their voter registration card are upset with this ongoing political season and the direction the party has headed. I’ve heard of some people that refuse to vote for the presumptive nominee (#NeverTrump anyone?) and would rather vote for the candidate emerges from the left side of the aisle. Others I’ve heard are looking at the Libertarian candidates (of which there are currently 18 candidates listed and will be narrowed down to one nominee by the end of this month). Sadly and what worries me is I’ve heard of potential voters that have thrown in the towel and have said they just aren’t going to vote. It is sad and worrisome because people have lost that much hope and are that upset with the candidates running for President.
This post isn’t about the upcoming general election however. As upsetting as it is to have Presidential candidates that are not appealing to the solidly conservative crowd, there are MANY other IMPORTANT races that are going on right now. These races, from the local to the state to the federal levels, are vital in choosing which leaders we want representing us and our values. You may not like your Presidential candidate choices, but there are so many others further down on the ballot that align closer with your values and beliefs.
Many voters are only looking ahead to the November general election. In Colorado however, Republicans candidates are still working to have their name even appear on that general election ballot. The Republican primary ballot will be mailed out next month and due back to the elections office by Tuesday, June 28, 2016… Election Day.
What is it that registered Republican voters will be receiving in their mailboxes? Depending on the district and county in which a voter lives, the ballot may look similar to this sample ballot.
There are quite a few races in which the candidate listed has no opponent on the primary ballot which would make them a shoe-in to appear on November’s general ballot. There are, however, other races that may not be seen in the main stream media but are crucial for voters to weigh in on.
One significant choice primary voters will be deciding is which candidate will face off against the incumbent Democrat U.S. Senator, Michael Bennet. As a Senator, Bennet has been a rubber stamp for President Obama while agreeing with him over 90% of the time. In reviewing the website ontheissues.org, some key issues for Michael Bennet include:
- Supported both federal abortion funding & judicial activism (August 2010)
- Opposed more local control of education (September 2010)
- Voted YES to ban gun magazines of over 10 bullets (April 2013)
- Supported government-run healthcare (August 2010)
- Supported more federal taxes & keeping the marriage penalty (August 2011)
It may seem obvious, but let me state that Michael Bennet needs to get out of Washington.
The remaining Republican list of candidates challenging to get on the November ballot stands at five. Of those five, only ONE went through the caucus process. There were multiple people that went through the caucus process up to the Colorado State Assembly. By the time the votes were counted at that assembly, Darryl Glenn was the only candidate moving on to the primary ballot. Mr. Glenn’s speech at the State Assembly spoke to hearts and core of the strong majority of attendees. Mr. Glenn did not waiver in his conservative stance and made no apologies for his views.
The other candidates have had issues in their petitioning on to the ballot or have other red flags. One candidate is being investigated for forged signatures on the petition his campaign submitted to the Secretary of State. Another candidate was a lifelong registered Democrat until recently changing his status and declaring a run for the U.S. Senate. Another candidate’s petition was denied and it is currently being appealed and is tied up in the courts. Big money may be backing a couple of the candidates who have petitioned their way on to the ballot, but are they really the right choice? It is imperative that voters do their homework and not vote for the candidate with the glossiest mailer.
Another race with multiple candidates vying for the Republican nomination is for a Colorado State Senate seat. Three candidates will appear on the primary ballot for District 4. Two candidates went through the caucus process and one petitioned his way on. Jess Loban received the most votes at the Douglas County Republican Assembly after his speech focused on conservative values. Mr. Loban spoke from the heart and garnered the top line on the primary ballot.
A couple warning signals have gone up regarding the candidates Mr. Loban is facing in the upcoming primary election. District 4 represents a portion of Douglas County, Colorado. Mr. Loban has lived in Douglas County for a number of years. One of the candidates Mr. Loban is facing finalized the purchase of his Douglas County home on October 5, 2015. That would mean he is running to represent the people in the county he has lived for less than one year. The other candidate that petitioned his way on to the primary ballot also has had issues with forgeries on the petition turned in (as reported by Channel 9 News in Denver this past week).
One other election in Douglas County is for the elected position of County Commissioner. This heated Republican contest is between a businesswoman (small business owner) and the former Douglas County Coroner. Monica Wasden has not run campaigns previously but rather has run her business and has volunteered in a myriad of different ways throughout the county.
The other candidate butted heads with the sheriff’s office during her tenure as Coroner. In addition to her brash, confrontational style, she also viewed the Victim Advocate program through the sheriff’s office as completely unnecessary. Victim Advocates are on call to assist sheriff’s deputies on certain calls (deaths, domestic violence, and other situations where there is a victim involved). These advocates work with the victim so the deputies can tend to the matters of their investigation. Many of the Victim Advocates are unpaid volunteers. They provide a great service to the sheriff’s office and to the Douglas County community.
Campaigns and races will vary depending on where one is located. You may see many names with the title of “Republican” beside them. Whether there is one name or multiple names, I cannot state enough the importance of doing your research. Get involved. Find out who the candidates are that you have the choice of voting for. Educate yourself as those elected are elected to represent you.
We live in the greatest nation on this earth. We are blessed to be able to vote for our representatives. We have freedoms that we should not take for granted. Who knows… with the wrong elected leaders, some of those freedoms may be snatched from you. Study. Be involved. Don’t fall for the shiniest flier. VOTE!