BY FREDA MIKLIN
Although the candidates for many of the races in the November election have been selected, there are a number of contests in which there is still more than one person competing to represent one of the major parties. Those competitions will be settled on June 28th by the primary elections.
In our state, primary ballots for the Democratic and Republican parties are sent to its affiliated voters. Primary ballots for both of the major parties are sent to unaffiliated voters, who have the right to vote in either the Democratic or Republican primary but not both.
This week, we are focusing on those primaries that will affect voters in Arapahoe County.
United States Senate-Republican primary
Republican and unaffiliated voters will choose between construction company owner and political newcomer Joe O’Dea and first term state Rep. Ron Hanks for the nomination to the U.S. Senate.
Ron Hanks, who lives in Cañon City, is a retired “enlisted man and commissioned officer” in the U.S. Air Force and a “respectful live-and-let-live” conservative who is staunchly against a woman’s right to choose and “pro-gun.” He attended the January 6, 2021 rally former President Trump held at the ellipse in Washington D.C. and has said many times that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Trump, that climate change is not a real issue, and that our elections in Colorado are not secure. For more information, visit www.hanksfor
Joe O’Dea is the owner of a large-project construction company that employs 300 people. He believes that, “the biggest driver of inflation is the embrace of socialism by the political elites in Washington.” He wants to reduce the national debt and attack local crime, along with inflation. A resident of Greenwood Village, O’Dea supports term limits for Members of Congress and a balanced budget. He strongly supports the military and local law enforcement and does not believe the 2020 election was stolen all. For more information, visit www.joeodea.com.
The winner of this primary will face incumbent Democratic Senator Michael Bennet in November.
Colorado Governor-Republican Primary
This race is between former Parker Mayor Greg Lopez, who also ran for the Republican nomination four years ago, and C.U. Regent Heidi Ganahl, the only statewide-elected Republican currently holding elective office in Colorado.
In an interview shortly after announcing her candidacy, Ganahl, who started a very successful doggie day care business that she subsequently sold, pointed to rising crime, the cost of living, and teen suicide as important issues for Colorado. Ganahl has said that the recent law passed in Colorado guaranteeing a woman’s right to choose “must be undone.” On her website, she says, “We can stop rampant homelessness by ending public drug use, prosecuting criminal behavior, using outcome-based funding models, and cleaning up our streets and parks.” Heidi Ganahl has been endorsed by former U.S. Senator Hank Brown, Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams and Douglas County School Board President Mike Peterson. For more information, visit www.heidiforgovernor.com.
Greg Lopez, who lives in Elizabeth and is former Colorado Director of the U.S. Small Business Administration, says his “values are shaped by my Christian faith.” He describes himself as being pro-life, believing in “protecting the Second Amendment, constitutional judges, TABOR (Taxpayer Bill of Rights), protecting our boarder, and empowering the states.” He agrees with the draft opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court that each state should decide its policy on a woman’s right to choose. He also agrees with Ganahl that the law recently passed in Colorado on this issue must be undone and as governor, he would very likely sign a bill banning all abortions. To combat inflation, he recommended, in an interview earlier this month, that the state “not charge sales tax to the small business community.” To increase students’ performance, Lopez would keep the teacher’s unions from “undermining the teaching capabilities of the teachers.” He has also called for an end to mail-in voting, saying, “I believe standing in line is more appropriate.” Lopez has been endorsed by former state Sen. Kevin Lundberg, John Bandimere, owner of Bandimere Speedway and Kim Monson, host of the Kim Monson Show. For more information, visit www.lopez2022.com.
The winner of this primary will face first-term incumbent Democratic Governor Jared Polis, as well as Danielle Neuschwanger in the November 8 general election. Neuschwanger, who pleaded guilty to DWAI a decade ago, failed in her attempt to get on the ballot as a Republican, getting 27% of the vote at the party’s state assembly (30% is needed to get on the ballot). She will run as the candidate of the American Constitution Party.
Colorado Secretary of State-Republican Primary
This race is between former Wheat Ridge city clerk and Jefferson County clerk and recorder Pam Anderson, and the director of a non-profit lender Mike O’Donnell, along with Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, presently under indictment for ten criminal counts related to her job as the top election official in Mesa County.
Pam Anderson has said that she supports the use of paper ballots to verify that votes are accurately recorded, election audits, and transparency in elections. Anderson has stated that Colorado’s election processes are safe and secure and that the 2020 election, in which President Biden was elected, “was the safest and most secure election we’ve ever had in our country.” She has also said that she wants to have the confidence of both Democrats and Republicans in Colorado. Andersonhas been endorsed by former U.S. Senator Hank Brown, Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers and former U.S. Attorneys Jason Dunn and Troy Eid. For more information, visit https://andersonforsos.com.
Mike O’Donnell hails from Australia and is a naturalized American citizen who has lived in Colorado for 22 years. He lives in Yuma where his family grows most of its own food. He supports a lawsuit filed in 2020 by Judicial Watch to force Colorado to clean up its state voter rolls. He believes that non-citizens are allowed to register to vote illegally and that the voting machines used in this state are vulnerable. Asked if he believed that widespread election fraud or election rigging played a role in the 2020 election, O’Donnell said, “I am not in a position to opine on that because I haven’t checked into it.” He stated in an interview that the voter rolls contained, “nine people who claimed they lived in a UPS store.” (Some UPS stores have mailboxes that can be rented.) O’Donnell was not able to point to any specific instances of voter fraud when asked. For more information, visit https://mikeodonnell.us.
Tina Peters, who last week was barred by a judge from overseeing the 2022 primary and general elections in the county where she is the elected county clerk, says on her website, “I’m running for Colorado Secretary of State to make elections local again. I will work to protect your vote from being nationalized. I will put an end to the massive government overreach and corruption in the office of the Secretary of State.” She has been endorsed by former U.S. National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign
three weeks after President Trump was sworn in, due to having misled Vice President Pence and other top White House officials about his dealings with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. After Peters was indicted, the Colorado Republican Party’s statewide officers called on her to suspend her campaign for secretary of state until she was cleared of the criminal charges for which she was charged, but Peters declined to do so. For more information, visit https://www.tina
The winner of this primary will face incumbent first-term Democratic Secretary of State Jena Griswold.
Arapahoe County Commissioner District Two-Republican Primary
Ting executive and former Centennial City Council Member Mark Gotto and Arapahoe County Fraternal Order of Police President and U.S. Navy veteran Jason Presley are competing for the GOP nomination for Arapahoe County Commissioner District Two, presently held by Nancy Sharpe, who is term-limited.
Mark Gotto would like to use his strategic planning skills to drive the county’s new health department that is presently being formed. He would prioritize the use of federal infrastructure funding for Arapahoe County. He is also focused on community safety and fiscal responsibility. Gotto has been endorsed by outgoing Commissioner Nancy Sharpe, Centennial Mayor Stephanie Piko, and former Centennial Mayor Pro Tem Kathy Turley. For more information, visit votemarkgotto.com.
Jason Presley, who has served as a deputy sheriff in Arapahoe County for 17 years, says, “We need a commissioner with practical experience in law enforcement involved in governmental decisions to combat the rise in crime and keep our schools safe…that will be instrumental in choosing…leaders (to operate) the new Arapahoe County Health Department.” He also says that, “we can’t continue to avoid the homeless problem in Arapahoe County. We must work collaboratively with all areas of government to find solutions,” and that, “we must… find solutions to make Arapahoe County more affordable for current residents and future generations.” Presley is endorsed by 18th Judicial District Attorney and candidate for Colorado Attorney General John Kellner, Arapahoe County Commissioner Jeff Baker, state Rep. Rod Bockenfeld, and Aurora City Council Member Danielle Jurinsky. For more information, visit https://presley4commissioner.com.
The winner of this primary will face Democrat Jessica Campbell-Swanson in November.
Arapahoe County Commissioner District Four-Democratic Primary
Hoping to be nominated by their party for Arapahoe County Commissioner District Four are Leslie Summey, a U.S. Navy veteran, small business owner, union member and mother of four, and Regina Edmondson, Aurora native and the owner of a full-service catering company. She is also vice-chair of the City of Aurora Business Advisory Board.
Leslie Summey believes in protecting veterans, a woman’s right to choose, prioritizing relief for the homeless, and expansion of funding for community mental health centers, as well as protection of LGBTQ+ rights. She has been endorsed by Aurora City Council Members Alison Coombs and Juan Marcano and state Rep. Steven Woodrow. For more information, visit https://www.leslie4arapahoe.com.
Regina Edmondson believes that “Arapahoe County has a significant shortage of affordable housing not just for low-to-moderate income residents, but many middle-class families.” She also believes that, “to maintain and increase the services to support our residents, we need to increase revenue through economic development, emphasize process improvement inefficiencies, and fiscal responsibility.” Edmonson supports “the ongoing multi-government collaborative process to evaluate alternatives, determine recommendations for current and future project funding for a successful multimodal transportation system serving our community and its long-term needs.” For more information, visit https://www.regina4arapahoe.com.
The winner of this primary will face Republican Bob Roth in November.
Colorado State Senate District 27-Republican Primary
Tom Kim, the grandson of Korean immigrants, businessman, outdoorsman, and former attorney, who believes in the American Dream, and Julie Marie Shepherd Macklin, small business owner and former two-term member of the Aurora Public Schools Board of Education are each hoping to be the Republican candidate for state Senate District 27.
Tom Kim left his job as a bankruptcy lawyer in the early 2000’s to start a consulting firm focused on restructuring businesses in the middle market. He believes that “our economic system is based on free-market principles, but over many decades federal, state and local governments have become overly involved. This has resulted in burdensome regulations and unnecessary costs that are experienced by all citizens.” He will “work to minimize excessive government spending and focus essential spending that will not exceed current tax levels.” He also believes that “our education system is to focus on traditional four-year college and often neglects to consider trade schools.” Public safety is also a priority for him. Tom Kim has been endorsed by Centennial Mayor Stephanie Piko, Centennial City Council Member Rik Holt, and Arapahoe County Commissioner Jeff Baker For more information, visit https://www.tomkimforcolorado.com.
After being adopted by a single mom from an orphanage in India, JulieMarie Shepherd Macklin chaired the City of Aurora Youth Commission at the end of middle school. Later, as a member of the Aurora School Board, she focused on reducing truancy rates and being a responsible steward of taxpayer resources. She also chaired a national search process to hire the school superintendent. MacklinShepherd is committed to “keeping our schools strong, our neighborhoods safe, and our business community prosperous within Senate District 27.” For more information, visit https://www.shepherd
The winner of this primary will face first-term incumbent Democrat State Senator Chris Kolker in November.