A Republican in 'unaffiliated' clothing

To the editor,

In a recent LPEA Board meeting while Jack Turner was still on the Board, the candidate of the same name who is running against Marsha Porter Norton for county commissioner spoke during the public comment period. Perhaps the word “spoke” is too kind; so too is the word “comment.” Rather, he lambasted, falsely accused and seethed with anger at an honest public servant who, for personal reasons, forfeited the Board seat to which he had been elected more than once. I later found out that Marsha’s opponent has joined the attempt by Republican candidates to mislead voters by registering as “unaffiliated,” saying they will be non-partisan. In 2018, the county Republican Party chair stated in the Durango Herald that Republicans can no longer win in La Plata County.

While researching the judges who are on the November ballot, I came across a website that said in more than one place, in bold red letters, that the “Reds” need to take back Colorado. Each judge was listed based on who appointed her or him, and either endorsed or rejected based on that alone. Sobered by the partisan politics that has gripped our country, I did exactly opposite what the website suggested.

During the summer of 2017, I participated with SJMA, Great Old Broads, Backcountry Horsemen and others in a project to haul out trash – big trash like heavy metal stoves – left in abandoned hunting camps after the Hermosa Creek Wilderness was formed. Marsha joined us and was asked to recount her involvement in the protection of this spectacular Wilderness. It was truly impressive to learn of her success at bridging the differences and bringing both sides to consensus in order to protect the land they both loved.

During this unprecedented time in La Plata County, across Colorado and in the United States, remember that your vote counts; do not be misled by attempts on the part of partisan politicians to garner your vote with misinformation. Marsha Porter Norton and Matt Salka are the honest candidates who will continue to stand up for the voice of the people, all the people, in La Plata County.

– Dr. Lauri Costello, Durango