GOP Nominates Local Candidates at County Convention

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The Mesa County Republicans held their county convention Saturday morning, where they officially nominated local candidates who will appear on the August primary ballot. In some of those races, however, the battle to get the final nomination is far from over.

Saturday, nominations were made and accepted by Pete Hautzinger for District Attorney, Laura Bradford for State Representative, and Janet Rowland and Craig Meis for County Commissioner.

In the case of the two commission spots, however, winning the party's support now doesn't necessarily mean winning the party's final nomination.

"Really, it will go down to the people and who can get the message out," said Mayor Jim Doody, who is a County Commission candidate. "I think I can get the message out."

Doody is seeking the Republican nomination for the Commissioner spot currently held by Meis. Back when he decided to run, Doody said he would bypass the caucus and county convention process, and instead petition his way onto the August primary ballot.

"It gives me the opportunity to get out and talk to people, tell them what I'm thinking and how I see the future of the county," said Doody.

Both he and David Kearsley, who is seeking the Republican nomination for Rowland's spot, will have to collect 2700 signatures by May in order to get on the ballot. While a confident Doody says he can get the signatures and win the election, Meis says he's just as confident he will keep his spot.

"I certainly feel my background will take Mesa County forward," said Meis. "I'm very confident that I'll get the nomination."

Rowland says her record as Commissioner should allow her to secure the nomination as well.

"In my first term, we have really raised expectations of county government whether you're talking about budget, addressing the overcrowded jail, addressing the meth issue or child abuse," said Rowland.

She adds, however, that she welcomes a challenge from within her own party.

"I'm looking forward to having a civil and rational discussion of the issues," said Rowland.

Although inner party rivalries may exist for now, all the Republican candidates say they hope the party can come together to defeat Democrats come November.

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