GOP will have primary; Dem enters District 3 race

By Hank Lohmeyer


The Delta County Republican Party Assembly on Saturday set the stage for a primary election in the District 3 county commissioner race.

Also, there is now a Democrat, Jere Lowe of Paonia, in the District 3 race. He officially became a candidate with his state filing on March 16. He also has received the Delta County Democratic Party's nomination for District 3 commissioner, according to his website.

At Saturday's Republican county assembly, 197 delegates who were selected at precinct caucuses on March 1 gave incumbent Mark Roeber 131 votes in his District 3 nomination bid. Challenger Roger Bentley got 66 delegate votes. Bentley's vote tally was over the 30 percent required to place his name on the June 28 primary ballot.

In the contested race for Republican nomination in commissioner District 2, Don Suppes won 155 delegate votes and his opponent Nancy Hovde got 41 votes. Hovde's total was below the threshold needed to qualify for the primary ballot via the county assembly. However, she still has the option of petitioning onto the primary ballot.

Hovde told the DCI this week that she had not yet decided whether to mount a petition drive. According to the county elections department, it would take 588 valid petition signatures for her name to be placed on the primary ballot.

Both Roeber and Suppes have earned top line designation on the primary ballot, the county elections department said.

On the Democratic side, District 3 candidate Lowe told the DCI that he has been a county property owner for 10 years and has lived here full time for eight years. He has an 80-acre organic ag operation, Earth Friendly Farms, on Lamborn Mesa. He also operates Earth Friendly

Supply Company. He said that in addition to organic produce farming that he does consulting work.

The Democratic Party's vacancy committee has also approved the name of a candidate to run for the District 2 commissioner seat, said Jean Tucker of Paonia. She is a member of the committee, and also a member of the party's central committee which functions as the candidate vacancy committee. As of press deadline this week, no Democratic candidate had officially stepped forward to enter the district 2 commissioner race.

One other item of business at the Republican County Assembly was a non-binding straw poll asking everyone in the auditorium at the Delta Center, delegates and others, to express their preference on Republican presidential candidates.

Results of the straw poll were:

• Cruz, 167;

• Trump, 39;

• Kasich, 8.

The straw poll gives county delegates to the state Republican assembly in Denver "guidance" on voting for delegates who will give their support to Cruz at the Republican national convention this summer.