Arapahoe County voters will decide the results of seven races in the Nov. 8 general election, choosing to fill two county commissioner seats and casting ballots for sheriff, treasurer, assessor, coroner and clerk. and recorder.
Incumbent Democrats largely hold most elected countywide positions and face challenges from Republicans, Independents and Libertarians as November approaches.
Here’s who’s on the ballot.
In the race for Arapahoe County Commissioner for District 2, which encompasses south-central Arapahoe County, former Centennial City Councilman Mark Gotto will face Democrat Jessica Campbell-Swanson after winning his Republican primary.
Campbell-Swanson, campaign manager and political consultant, ran unopposed.
Gotto is continuing his 20-year corporate career, which culminated in an executive position at a Fortune 100 company, as well as his stint in public office as a primary pitcher to voters. Top priorities for him are targeting spending on the $550 billion federal infrastructure bill, maintaining a debt-free budget and reducing crime. He supports the construction of a new jail in the county.
Campbell-Swanson, who previously served as director of voter protection for the Colorado Democratic Party and now runs a political consulting firm for progressive candidates and politicians, said she wanted to deal with the rising cost of housing and mental health needs if elected.
Both candidates also highlighted the task of supporting the new county health departmentwhich is slated to begin operations Jan. 1 and will likely consume commissioners next year as they grapple with staffing and cost issues.
In the race for a seat for District 4, which encompasses central Arapahoe County, voters narrowly chose Navy veteran and small-business owner Leslie Summey over Regina Edmondson, who sits on the advisory board of Aurora City Affairs and the Rotary Club of Aurora, in the Democratic Primary.
Summey will face Republican Bob Roth, who ran unopposed in the Republican primary in November.
Summey has focused much of his platform on promoting equity and human rights in Arapahoe County. She said she wants to address rising rates of domestic violence and easily accessible reproductive health services, provide more accessible housing and services for the homeless, improve care for veterans, and make the county a more inclusive place for LGBTQ people.
Roth, who has served in multiple public service positions — including serving as interim mayor of the city of Aurora from 2013 to 2019 — wants to improve public safety, build support for businesses, and work with educators and administrators to providing “educational choices so parents can set their children on the path of their choice,” according to his campaign website.
Sheriff Tyler Brown, a Democrat, will face challengers Kevin Edling, a Republican, and Scott Liva, a Libertarian.
Brown, who has served as sheriff since 2019, oversees a staff of 700 throughout Arapahoe County. As sheriff, he oversaw the implementation of a new mental health co-respondent program, partnered with the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, and expanded the school resource officer program.
In September last year, Brown came under fire when a video surfaced on social media showing her grabbing a man by the throat during an altercation at the restaurant. Brown said he stood up for his wife after a man asked for her number.
The Denver District Attorney’s Office said Brown would not face criminal charges, but called his actions “irresponsible and unprofessional for an elected sheriff.”
His Republican opponent, Kevin Edling, is currently the commanding officer of the Denver Police Department and had worked for the department for 26 years. Edling said his top priorities as sheriff would be to reduce property crime, connect the homeless to services, and strengthen law enforcement hiring and retention. Edling said he blamed the “Defund the Police movement” for causing “serious damage to morale and manpower across the country”. according to his campaign website.
Libertarian Scott Liva has portrayed himself as a civil rights advocate who will hold police accountable for misconduct. He has taken part in several protests against police abuse in the county and said on his campaign website that he “will not allow military punt raids on citizens when elected county sheriff.”
In photos on her website, Liva can be seen holding signs that read “DEFUND POLICE.”
Clerk and recorder
Clerk and recorder Joan Lopez, a Democrat, will face Republican challenger Caroline Cornell.
Lopez, who was elected in 2019, oversees elections in the county and issues marriage and civil union licenses, motor vehicle registration and more.
She said she was committed to the protection and integrity of voters, a priority issue for many voters following the fallout from the 2020 election and the rise of voter denial conspiracy theories and voter intimidation. .
Lopez said during the 2020 election in November, tThe men showed up at the county office polls and filmed voters coming to cast their ballots. One of them openly carried a gun.
“He was very hostile any time anyone approached him and told him what you were doing,” Lopez said of his staff’s attempts to speak with the men in a previous interview with Colorado Community Media. .
Cornell, a small business owner, said she would “run an election without causing political drama,” according to her campaign website.
Coroner Kelly Lear will face Republican challenger Ron Bouchard.
Lear, a physician and medical examiner, said fentanyl remains a major threat to community safety, with his office seeing a 50% increase in fentanyl-related deaths between 2020 and 2021.
“Fentanyl is flooding our communities and it’s critical that the death investigation community participate and assist in education and prevention efforts,” Lear said in a social media post.
Bouchard has more than 30 years of experience in scientific research laboratories, both in the field of higher education and in the medical field.
As coroner, Bouchard said he wanted to investigate comorbidities surrounding viral infections, develop a process to notify family members before any cremations and create a tracking system to ensure families have been closed. .
Incumbent Democrat PK Kaiser will face Republican challenger Robert Andrews.
Kaiser, who has held the position since 2019, said he will continue to establish accurate values for all properties in the county to ensure “the tax burden is distributed fairly evenly among all property owners,“ according to his campaign website. As an appraiser, Kaiser filed property appeals and digitized the appeals process.
His Republican challenger, Andrews, has 40 years of real estate experience. If elected, Andrews pledged to restore walk-in appointments and reduce turnover at the assessor’s office.
In the race for Treasurer, Democrat Michael Westerberg will face Republican Marsha Berzins to succeed incumbent Treasurer Sue Sandstrom.
Westerberg said as treasurer, he wants to have candid conversations with county taxpayers to improve financial literacy and better educate communities about the programs and resources that exist for them.
“Whether you can’t pay your property taxes or your business needs a boost during the pandemic, every county program, its requirements, and its qualifications should be readily available and easy to find,” Westerberg said on his campaign website.
Berzins, who served on Aurora City Council from 2009 to 2021, said she had experience managing a budget and said she wanted to work with small businesses to help spur growth. county economy.