Economy And Housing Top Two Mesa County Races Issues

Charlie Pink was asked to consider running as the Democratic candidate for Mesa County commissioner in District 2 by a fellow Grand Junction union member in June. Pink heeded the request when he saw that Republican candidate Bobbie Daniel was running unchallenged. Doralyn Genova, who held the position from the 1980s until her retirement in 2005, was the last Democrat to win election as a Mesa County commissioner. Genova was additionally the first Democratic woman to be elected to the body.

Pink, 47, stated at a meet-and-greet on July 28 at the Edgewater Brewery in Grand Junction that was hosted by Charley Allan, vice chair of the Mesa County Democratic Party, that “democracy is not served when candidates run unchallenged.” At the event, which had around 60 attendees, Damon Davis, a Democrat running against Rick Taggart, a Republican, for the Colorado House District 55 seat, also spoke. Pink made the decision to run for the position currently held by Scott McInnis six weeks ago; his term expires in January 2023. Pink is currently trailing in name recognition and fundraising, but with three months until the November election, he hopes to gain traction in this largely Republican neighborhood.

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Daniel, his rival, declared her campaign over a year ago and has so far raised $24,000. Over the previous year, she claimed to have held more than 50 events. Pink, who was born and raised in the conservative Montrose by “staunch Republican parents,” registered as a Republican when he reached 18 but later discovered that his views were more in line with those of the Democratic Party, he claimed. He joined the team of state delegates for Barack Obama in 2008. He says he gained understanding about county government growing up with a father who worked for Montrose County and through his experience as an electrician dealing with Mesa County inspectors.

The county commission is significant, according to Pink. “My father served on numerous county commissions during the course of his career, and I grew up with him. He has witnessed their power. The Republican Party “groomed” my opponent. A person like me would be beneficial to the county, he declared. After defeating Mesa County Assessor Ken Brownlee in the Republican Mesa County assembly in May, Daniel, 42, was initially the only candidate. In order to be included on the Republican primary ballot in June, Brownlee needed to receive 30 percent of the vote.

After her family relocated to the Grand Valley from the Meeker region, Daniel grew up in Palisade. Her working-class upbringing as the daughter of a coal miner and a hairdresser is something she frequently emphasises. She claimed that over the years, several people had recommended that she run for public office, notably the county commission. Daniel is a mother of four who is currently a stay-at-home parent. Daniel stated that if elected commissioner, she will prioritise maintaining a strong and dynamic local economy by fostering business possibilities and lowering local taxes.

If elected, Pink stated he will prioritise local issues involving land, water, and other factors. He is a licenced solar installation by the North American Board Certified Energy Practitioners and a journeyman electrician at Quality Electric and Controls. Pink said, “Of course, I do,” when asked if he thought the 2020 presidential election was accurate and fair and if Joe Biden was the legitimate winner. And, he continued half-jokingly, “I’ll be upset if they take away my drop box.

Daniel paused before responding, “That’s such a tough one,” adding, “I do think that was fair and accurate and Joe Biden is our President,” to the same question during a different interview. 55th House District
Davis, who was born and raised in Palisade, is an attorney with the Grand Junction firm Killian, Davis, Richter & Kraniak. He said that during his career as an attorney, he had advocated on behalf of Mesa County’s working class. It’s where my allegiances are, he declared. As a state legislator, “My career has been representing the people of Mesa County — I’ve been their advocate, and I want to continue being their advocate.”

In Grand Junction, where housing costs have risen, Davis, 45, said he would make increasing affordable housing one of his legislative objectives. He suggested one step toward achieving that aim would be to lessen zoning barriers to high density housing. Davis’ rival, Taggart, sat on the Grand Junction City Council for seven years, including two as mayor. He said that the city organised a committee to handle the issue of affordable housing and set aside federal stimulus money. In order to lower the cost of developing homes, Taggart stated that he would also like to see restrictions lowered.

Although the proposed apartment complex would not be deed-restricted affordable, the city is currently considering waiving fees for the redevelopment of the vacant, former City Market store in downtown Grand Junction. According to Taggart, the initiative is anticipated to help downtown business owners while also boosting housing options. He claimed that the City Market project was not for affordable housing but rather for economic development. “We must carry out both. An anchor is a development like City Market (for downtown merchants). It doesn’t negate the need for affordable housing. We require both.

When it comes to government overreach, Taggart, 71, said he will work to be a “voice of sensible reason.” In comparison to the government imposing regulations, he claimed, “companies are more effective at self-regulation.” If Davis is elected as a lawmaker, criminal justice reform will be a top focus. In order to rehabilitate inmates who have drug addictions or mental health illnesses, he raised the potential of adding on-site mental health professionals to detention centres. He claimed that this could assist reduce the likelihood of recidivism. Davis also mentioned the idea of making college more accessible to people living in Colorado. He noted that inhabitants of New Mexico are entitled to free college tuition. He said that Colorado may take a similar action.

If elected, Taggart promised to leave the City Council at the end of December and take office as a state legislator in January 2023. Despite frequently being referred to as a moderate Republican, Taggart underlined that when it comes to fiscal matters, he is “extremely conservative.” He also claimed to be able to cooperate with lawmakers from all over the state. I’m a firm believer that effective legislation necessitates compromise, discussion, and perhaps even negotiation, he declared. “I acknowledge that and respect the procedure. There are numerous topics on which we can agree to disagree.

In a region where the GOP is more popular, Davis said he will need to win over independents as well as potentially some moderate Republicans. I want to win over independents,” Davis declared. especially those who are employed. A blue-collar message from me I have a strategy for finding affordable housing. Without a doubt, both candidates concurred that Biden is the legitimately elected President and that the 2020 presidential election was fair and accurate. Republican Janice Rich, who is running for the Senate District 7 position, currently holds the House District 55 seat.

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