Bears Ears Patriots event attracts candidates
Local residents receive surprise visit from CU regent contender
“I believe I have the resume and the educational background to do a wonderful job. I have the gray hairs to prove it, unlike my opponent (Jessica Garrow), who has almost no experience in education.”
— Glen Gallegos, a Republican candidate for the University of Colorado’s Board of Regents in District 3
The Bears Ears Patriots have been relatively quiet since the June 26 primary election.
But, this week members of the local tea party organization returned to coordinating an event for voters to vet local, state and national candidates.
On Thursday, the Bears Ears Patriots hosted a barbecue at the Moffat County Fairgrounds covered picnic area, an event designed to provide local residents with the opportunity to talk to candidates in a causal atmosphere.
The event attracted eight different candidates based in Craig, Pueblo and Carbondale, including an unexpected visit from Glen Gallegos, a Grand Junction Republican running for the University of Colorado Board of Regents in District 3.
District 3 mirrors the territory of Colorado's Third Congressional District and encompasses 29 of the state’s 64 counties.
The visit caught many of the more than 30 local voters in attendance by surprise, including Matt Winey, one of the event organizers, who said he had never met a candidate for CU regent before.
“It’s a challenge traveling to all 29 counties in the district, but Craig is no less important than any other city or town I want to represent,” Gallegos said after a brief introduction. “This is an important job and education is an important issue in the state, and every voter in the district matters.”
Gallegos, a Minturn native, graduated from Battle Mountain High School in Edwards, where he also spent 26 years as a teacher, principal and assistant superintendent.
He was appointed to the Colorado Mesa University Board of Trustees in 2005 under Gov.
Bill Owens, serving as chairman from 2007 to 2008. If elected, Gallegos pledges to establish measurable goals that revolve around efficiency, quality education, degree completion and faculty accountability.
“I believe I have the resume and the educational background to do a wonderful job,” Gallegos said. “I have the gray hairs to prove it, unlike my opponent (Jessica Garrow), who has almost no experience in education.”
The barbecue also attracted a number of Craig contenders, including Moffat County Commission candidates Chuck Grobe, John Kinkaid and Rick Barnes, Colorado Senate District 8 candidate Sacha Weis, and Colorado House District 57 contender Jo Ann Baxter.
Baxter’s general election opponent, Bob Rankin, and Tisha Casida, Independent for the Third Congressional District of Colorado, also attended Thursday night’s barbecue.
For Craig and Moffat County’s local candidates, the message was largely the same with each touting their platforms focused on energy, agriculture, limited government and improved education.
Casida played off of the popular tea party theme of reducing the size of the federal government during her introduction Thursday.
“I’m running because I want to tell the federal government no,” Casida said. “There’s hardly anything the federal government is doing, beyond national security, that Colorado and county governments can’t do better. “We want rules and regulations at a state and county level because that’s where we can hold our elected officials more accountable.”