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Brad Blake to run again for La Plata County commissioner

Candidate will begin campaigning first quarter of next year
Brad Blake and his wife, Janelle, watch election results in 2014 at the Durango Elks Club. Brad Blake is the second candidate to announce a run for La Plata County commissioner in District 1. Jack Turner, an unaffiliated candidate, announced he will run. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

Brad Blake will seek a second term as La Plata County commissioner after his narrow loss to Commissioner Clyde Church in the 2018 election.

Blake announced his intent to run for La Plata County’s sole commissioner seat up for election next year at the La Plata County Republicans’ Lincoln Day Dinner on Oct. 2. Blake filed his candidate affidavit three days later.

“I really feel like there are still some good causes in La Plata County,” Blake said. “I feel like when I was a commissioner before we got a lot of good things done, and I look forward to doing that again for the county.”

The 2022 election cycle will be Blake’s third consecutive campaign for county commissioner.

Blake, a Republican, will look to break the grip Democrats have on the board of county commissioners. All three districts are currently held by Democrats and commissioners Marsha Porter-Norton and Matt Salka will not be up for re-election until 2024.

Blake served his first four-year term as commissioner of District 1 from 2015-19 after beating Democratic candidate Cynthia Roebuck by a slim margin in his first race.

In 2018, Blake lost to Church by 23 votes after he led his Democratic challenger by 47 votes on election night.

Blake said he will begin seriously campaigning in the first quarter of 2022.

“I felt like that was a good opportunity to announce, but I wasn't really planning on kicking off campaign activities until even after the first of the year,” Blake said.

The 60-year-old Blake is a Durango native and local businessman who started Blake Mechanical Inc., a plumbing and heating contractor, and was a partner in Konisto Cos. Inc., a solar construction firm, before serving as commissioner.

In 2020, Blake and his wife, Janelle, decided to retire from the family’s plumbing business to focus on taking care of their parents. Blake said they will finish closing the business this year.

Blake is the second to announce his candidacy for the District 1 commissioner seat.

Jack Turner, an unaffiliated candidate who lost to Porter-Norton in 2020, filed to run in July after he moved districts to run.

Incumbent Church has yet to announce plans for next year’s elections.

District 1 covers roughly the western half of La Plata County, though any registered voter in the county can vote for the seat. Candidates must reside in the district for at least 12 months.

Now that he has filed, Blake can begin fundraising and campaigning.

According to Blake’s most recent contribution and expenditures report, he has raised $2,500 as of Nov. 1.

The La Plata County GOP caucus will be on March 2 and the county assembly will be on March 23.

If Blake runs unopposed as a Republican, he will be nominated and placed on the primary ballot at the assembly. If Blake faces a challenger, he will need at least 30% of the vote to make it onto the primary ballot.

As of Friday, no other Republican candidates had filed to run for commissioner.

In recent months, the Colorado Republican Party has debated forgoing the party’s 2022 primaries after some have objected to a Colorado law that allows unaffiliated voters to vote in party primaries.

In September, Republicans rejected the effort, which would have resulted in a handful of registered Republicans selecting candidates for federal and statewide offices.

The Colorado GOP primary will take place on June 28.

If Blake is elected, he will be eligible to run again in 2026. Though Blake would serve his second term, county commissioners are limited to two consecutive terms.

ahannon@durangoherald.com

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