State races provide voters with plenty of choices | CraigDailyPress.com

State races provide voters with plenty of choices

Janelle O'Dea

The election season is in full swing, with ballots being collected by counties across the state on a minute by minute basis. The Craig Daily Press compiled an overview of candidates for state House Representative District 57, State Board of Education District 3 and Secretary of State.

Representing Northwest Colorado

Incumbent Republican Rep. Bob Rankin has spent the past two years representing the Western Slope in Colorado's House of Representatives for District 57 and is running against Libertarian and Craig resident Sacha Mero.

Mero and her husband, Travis, are out to make a change to Colorado's politics. The two identify with the Libertarian party and aim to downsize government while expanding personal liberties.

Rankin visited Craig recently to talk about issues plaguing the Western Slope.

"The most important thing to me for Western Colorado is our relationship to the federal government and the management of public lands," Rankin said during his stop in Craig. He also discussed education funding and Gov. Hickenlooper's oil and gas task force.

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During his tenure as legislator, Rankin has served on several committees and boards, including positions with the Joint Technology Committee and the Colorado Tourism Board.

He has also served on the Colorado General Assembly Joint Budget Committee.

According to the Joint Budget Committee's website:

"The JBC is statutorily charged with analyzing the management, operations, programs, and fiscal needs of the departments of state government."

Rankin was sworn in as representative Jan. 9, 2013 for his first two-year term.

Mero has not served in office before but ran for a District 8 Colorado State Senate seat in 2012.

According to her website:

"I managed to garner 4.5 percent of the vote with zero funds for my campaign," Mero said. "This, to me, shows me that we, as a people, are starting to see that the two-party system does not work. We are looking for an alternative."

Getting educated about the state board of education

Colorado's State Board of Education "provides general supervision of public schools" and its duties are described in Title 22 of the Colorado Revised Statutes.

Republican incumbent Marcia Neal currently represents Colorado's 3rd Congressional District in the State Board of Education.

She taught for 25 years and was then elected to the Mesa Valley School District 51, where she served for eight years.

Board members serve a six-year term. Neal was sworn in Jan. 13, 2009. On her website, she pledges to protect school choice, keep academic standards high and protect local control. Neal is known to be anti-Common Core.

She is running against Democrat Henry C. Roman. According to Roman's website, he started out as a principal and he has been a superintendent of school districts large and small. Roman supports Common Core.

"I believe I have a good understanding of the needs of all the school districts on the Western Slope, Southeastern Colorado including Pueblo."

Register to vote for who registers you to vote

Most Colorado residents interact with the secretary of state at some point throughout the year, but it's usually through a form or employee at the secretary's office.

At least once every two years, citizens vote for the secretary of state office.

Current Secretary of State Scott Gessler is not running for re-election. He began his term on Jan. 11, 2011. Gessler was defeated by Bob Beauprez in the Republican primary for governor.

Coloradans can choose between Democrat Joe Neguse, Republican Wayne W. Williams, Libertarian Dave Schambach and Amanda Campbell, member of the American Constitution party.

The Colorado secretary of state office is responsible for keeping a variety of public records as well as overseeing elections.

"The secretary of state's office serves as the gateway to business in Colorado," Gessler said in a video on the Colorado secretary of state's website.

Neguse, according to his website, aims to make Colorado elections transparent while also improving elections technology.

Williams endorses "fair and clean elections" on his website, as well, and notes that he helped lead the fight against passage of House Bill 1303, which changed the Colorado elections system to a primarily mail-ballot system.

The American Constitution candidate's campaign rests on the country's founding documents.

According to a release from the party, Campbell said she believes that "our national and state constitutions are laws which must be followed, even when politicians find them inconvenient. If our politicians refuse to follow the rules, how can they ask us and our children to behave any differently?"

Schambach comes to the race out of the wholesale produce business after spending the past three years as an organic farmer. According to his Facebook page, he said he understands the issues that plague Coloradans.

"I am accessible and open to new ideas. I don’t claim to 'have all the answers,' but I am approachable and an active listener," he said.

Contact Janelle O’Dea at 970-875-1795 or jodea@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @jayohday

Candidate overviews

State Representative District 57

Bob Rankin, Republican

Age: 72

Twitter: @votebobrankin

Facebook: https://www.faceb…

Sacha Mero, Libertarian

Age: 43

State Board of Education District 3

Henry C. Roman, Democrat

Age: N/A

Facebook: https://www.faceb…

Marcia Neal

Age: N/A

Secretary of State

Joe Neguse, Democrat

Age: N/A

Twitter: @JoeNeguse

Facebook: https://www.faceb…

Wayne W. Williams, Republican

Age: N/A

Twitter: @Williams4Clerk

Amanda Campbell, American Constitution

Age: N/A

Dave Schambach, Libertarian

Age: N/A

Facebook: https://www.faceb…