Delta Politician Wants to Press Charges for Attack Ads

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A Delta County politician running for a commission seat says political attacks against him have gone to far, now he wants to press charges, but not against his opponent.

Republican Candidate Mike Mason is running against Republican Bruce Hovde in the primary for a seat on the Delta County Commission.

He says an attack ad in the Delta County Independent was the last straw.

"Of seven items, only one fact, that we have an elk fence, is true," said Mason.

The ad says it was run and paid for by the Delta County Committee for Repsponsible Progress, a political committe run by Nick Streza.

The ad claims Mason used taxpayer money for a fire hydrant in his subdivision, lied about being a licensed engineer and mentions a civil lawsuit amongst other things.

"When you falsify, when you recklessly put stuff out there with the purpose of affecting an election, that is a criminal act in co," Mason told 11 News outside of the district attorney's office where he filed a complaint.

Mason says the claims are false and the lawsuit was misrepresented and that's why he's pursuing criminal charges against Nick Streza and six others who signed the ad.

He's doing so under a Colorado statute that makes it a crime to advertise false statements in order to affect an election.

Nick Streza did not return calls to 11 News.

Bruce Hovde, Mason's opponent, says he thinks Mason is going overboard.

"I think it's a but much," Hovde told 11 News in a telephone interview.

Hovde says he's not affiliated with the group who ran the ad and says he had nothing to do with it.

He believes his opponent is filing charges for publicity.

"I've had a lot of negative things said about me and I'm not pursuing any charges," said Hovde.

But Mason says he's not doing it for publicity, he's hoping to change the way political ads are run in the future because the damage is already done in this race.

"Early ballots are already out, I'm sure i've lost votes because of the slander," said Mason.

The district attorney's office will investigate Mason's claims.

The Delta County primary election will be held on August 12th.

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