2018 Candidate Musings

Because of their active get-out-the-vote efforts and speaking cogently about the issues, two commissioner candidates have risen to the top: George Marlin and Mike Hillman.

Talking with Mike and watching his performance as Idaho Springs mayor, I’ve come to believe Mike is not a fire-breathing, anti-guvmit Trumpkin. Instead, I see an old-school, problem-solving, Chamber of Commerce Republican who focuses on the economic and financial aspects of governance.

Mike talks about his efforts to provide affordable, attainable housing, including a project that the Colorado Housing Finance Authority has been approved for tax credits. He is for the school district’s mil levy initiative, supportive of a larger community health clinic, and, I believe, developing a more hard-nosed approach towards CDOT.

“We can never build our way out of the traffic congestion,” he told me on the Rabbit Hole. “It will take multiple modes of moving traffic, and I’m talking about the high-speed rail system.” He insists the Advanced Guideway System—AGS—is “feasible.”

Because of his non-ideological pragmatism, I like Mike.

But I like George more.

When he entered the race, George sought my support. I told him he would need to prove he offered something better than the candidates with governance credentials. George responded, “I will earn your support.” And he has.

George separated himself by offering a vision and a boundless, can-do energy, taking advantage of every opportunity to present himself and become more educated.

Clear Creek born and raised, George chose to return home after earning his economics degree at Regis. While that’s not the reason to support a candidate, in his case, it speaks to George’s passion. He doesn’t lose sight of the reason we make Clear Creek our home: The view from our windows.

George understands the need for economic development but also the urgency of protecting Clear Creek’s mountains, streams, open spaces, and vistas, of threading the needle of preservation in the face of unfettered market forces. He understands Clear Creek is under inordinate pressures from neighbors east and west. While his mind churns in search for solutions, in the forefront remain his values. When it comes to making a call, I’m confident George’s primary consideration will be about how a proposal aligns with Clear Creek values, not the other way around.

Of at least equal importance is the contest for Clerk and Recorder. The clerk is the electoral front-line gatekeeper and a first defender of our participatory democracy. Because of the Russian meddling in the 2016 election, the ongoing assaults by hackers, and the Orwellian-Trumpian world we live in, the Clerk and Recorder office nationwide has grown in importance. It’s no longer a clerical position one can do seated behind his/her desk.

The only candidate for Clerk and Recorder who has worked tirelessly to make her case and has shown she takes the threats to American democracy seriously is Elaine Lewers. Like George, Elaine has left no stone unturned in her education. She’s made it clear that she will be a dogged overseer of Clear Creek elections and a visible, active, and engaging leader. And, if elected, she’ll be able to honestly claim she did it the old-fashioned way: She earned it.

In the past, I’ve been concerned about the depth of the Democratic Party’s bench in terms of young, articulate, forward-thinking candidates. Times have changed rapidly.

For governor, Jared Polis has it all. If you’ve yet to read his endorsement by the Denver Post, please do so. For congressional House District 2, Joe Neguse is an up-and-coming leader. The son of immigrants from Eritrea, Joe is upbeat, engaging, with a moral compass that unflinchingly homes in on righting injustice, from economic repression to sexual assault. Listen to my conversation with Joe at https://www.jerryfabyanic.com/thinking-liberally/.

If reelected and Democrats maintain their majority, KC Becker, who will host a town hall at the United Center on October 23rd, will likely be the next Speaker of the House. KC follows in the footsteps of previous HD 13 greats: Joan Fitzgerald and Claire Levy.

Clear Creek and Colorado statewide are blessed with amazingly talented choices: Phil Weiser for Attorney General, Jena Griswold for Secretary of State, and Dave Young for Treasurer among them.

I’d go on, but I’m space limited.

My plea: Take your citizenship obligation seriously. Do your homework. Study ALL the candidates. Then vote. Smartly.

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