Recapping the Herald’s recommendations

With little over a week left before Election Day, The Durango Herald offers voters a recap of its endorsements.

President: Obama

Barack Obama became president amid an almost unprecedented economic meltdown, two ongoing wars, and with the federal deficit spiraling out of control. That he has not been able to fix things completely is hardly surprising – especially in the face of unrelenting partisan opposition at every turn.

He has nonetheless done reasonably well, including enacting meaningful health-care reform.

His opponent has offered little but the fact that he is not Obama.

Re-elect President Obama.

U.S. Representative: Pace

Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District has a history of choosing pragmatists over ideologues. As state House minority leader, Democrat Sal Pace has shown he can work across the aisle to get things done. That is vital in a diverse district that values moderation.

Incumbent Scott Tipton is hardworking and accessible, but has been too close to House GOP leadership and its ideological agenda.

Vote for Sal Pace.

CU Regents: Davidson and Garrow

The Herald endorses Republican Brian Davidson for the at-large seat and Democrat Jessica Garrow for the 3rd CD spot. Both are smart, educated, youthful and energetic with strong working knowledge of higher education.

Vote for Davidson and Garrow.

State representative: McLachlan

In a race that outside groups have made unnecessarily nasty, two honest and hardworking men are competing to represent the newly constituted 59th District. What separates the two is their vision for the district.

Incumbent J. Paul Brown has a view of state government more suited to bygone times.

Michael McLachlan, his Democratic opponent, is more in tune to the challenges of the 21st century. His top priority is education and he defends the need for protecting the environment – the two biggest factors in this district’s future economic prospects.

Vote for Michael McLachlan.

County commissioner, District 2: Hotter

Kellie Hotter is a dynamic woman with an extensive knowledge of La Plata County. She should be given another term – in part in the hope that she can use her experience to revisit the biggest failure of her first term, the collapse of the comp plan.

Her Democratic opponent, Gwen Lachelt, is another smart and energetic woman. Her work defending landowners and the environment against excesses of the gas industry should be continued.

Vote for Kellie Hotter.

County commissioner, District 3: Westendorff

Westendorff has studied county issues, attended virtually all relevant meetings and made it a point to get to know staff members and county officials. That is on top of her extensive experience in the law and real estate.

Harry Baxstrom, her Republican opponent, is a respected veterinarian with a long history in La Plata County. In public policy terms, however, Westendorff has the clear advantage.

Vote for Julie Westendorff.

Judges: Vote to retain

There is no reason not to.

State issues: ‘Yes’ on S; ‘no’ to 64 and 65

The state personnel system is in need of reform, and that has to be done via the Constitution. Vote “yes” on S.

Fully legalizing pot would make an already messy situation worse. Vote “no” on 64.

Amendment 65 would not reform campaign finance and does not belong in the state Constitution. Vote “no” on 65.

Local ballot issues: ‘Yes’ to all

Durango voters are being asked to tax themselves by approving the LPEA franchise-fee agreement. It is not a burden and the city needs the money. Vote “yes.”

Bayfield voters should vote to improve their schools. Their community’s kids deserve it. Vote “yes” on Ballot Issues 3A and 3B.

Hermosa Cliff Fire Protection District voters should end term limits for board members. Experience matters. Vote “yes” on Ballot Question 5A.

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