Orchard City's two-term mayor, Don Suppes, has announced as a candidate for District 2 county commissioner.
Suppes served as an Orchard City town trustee two and a half years before winning election as the town's mayor in 2008. His current term as mayor will end in April next year. The upcoming election for commissioner will be held Nov. 1, 2016.
Suppes hosted a reception for a dozen friends and supporters to make his official announcement.
In a short address during the event held at Daveto's, Suppes, referring to his run for state office in 2014, said that he promised his family he would go one year without campaigning again. "I got to a year and 10 days," he said as his wife, Beth, added, "I'll take it!"
Suppes won over 72 percent of the county's vote in his bid for the state Senate in 2014. However, strong Democratic turnout in the resort counties that are part of Colorado's big Senate District 6 carried that election for his opponent from Vail. "I won't need to win any ski town votes this time," Suppes said.
Suppes is running for the District 2 commissioner spot that is being vacated by the term-limited Bruce Hovde of Cedaredge.
No other candidates had filed required paperwork with the Colorado secretary of state's office as of the time of Suppes' announcement.
Still, Suppes said, "I'm sure there will be somebody else" to enter the race.
Economic issues are a key focus of the campaign. "Delta County is facing a tough and uncertain future," he said. "Our current commissioners have done a great job with the county finances. Things are going to get tough, and I will do my best to fight that fight."
He pointed to the county having to begin picking up a big cost for expanded Medicaid beginning in 2017.
Suppes notes, "Unfunded mandates and overreach from the state and federal agencies are crippling our way of life."
Those mandates cause concern on the local level where ag producers are worried about water and the future of their industry; businesses have rising employment costs and regulatory burdens; and parents have new concerns about the eduction their children are getting.
Suppes notes that he is a lifelong resident of the county; that he has served for almost eight years as a "fiscally responsible mayor for Orchard City," that he is a successful small businessman, and that he has "proven leadership" ability.
Delta County Sheriff Fred McKee was at the announcement. He told the candidate that he (Suppes) "would make a great commissioner, I look forward to working with you. You are a man of integrity."
Suppes' campaign literature states: "We all have a combined interest in our community and want to see Delta County's economy grow and all residents prosper. I have a proven record of standing up for the taxpayer and property rights."