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GOP La Plata County commissioner candidate disqualified from ballot

Ron Bogs narrowly missed a residency requirement
Ron Bogs, the La Plata County Republican Central Committee 2nd Vice Chair, has been disqualified from the ballot. He had been selected as the Republican nominee to represent La Plata County’s 3rd district on the Board of County Commissioners. (Reuben M. Schafir/Durango Herald file)

Ron Bogs, a Republican nominee for La Plata County commissioner in District 3, has been disqualified from the ballot because he has not lived in the district for the required 12-month period before the election.

Bogs’ candidacy was announced at the party assembly March 14 when he was nominated to challenge Commissioner Matt Salka, a Democrat seeking reelection in the November. Salka represents commissioner District 3, which comprises the eastern part of the county and is anchored in Bayfield.

News of his disqualification was shared by La Plata County Republican Central Committee Chairman Dave Peters in an email Friday and confirmed by Bogs on Tuesday. A vacancy committee has just over two weeks to fill Bogs’ spot on the ballot.

Voters from the entire county elect one candidate from each of the three La Plata County commissioner districts. Although commissioners are elected at-large, candidates must live in the district they want to represent for at least 12 months before the election in which they are running, according to state law.

County Clerk and Recorder Tiffany Lee, who must credential candidates in local races, asked Bogs to bring evidence of his residency after she noticed he had registered to vote in La Plata County in December 2023. Voter registration is not the only evidence of residency, Lee said, and that alone would not have disqualified him.

La Plata County Commissioner Districts were last updated in June 2023. (Courtesy of La Plata County)

Bogs owns a house in Archuleta County and moved to La Plata County in late 2023. He needed to be a resident of District 3 by Nov. 5, 2023, as the general election is scheduled for Nov. 5, 2024. He was able to present some evidence of residency on that date, Lee said.

However, voting records indicated that Bogs voted in Archuleta County in 2023, and that his ballot was received Nov. 7. The legally binding self-affirmation Bogs signed when he voted confirmed that the Archuleta County address was his “sole legal place of residence.”

“The supporting documents he presented to me saying he was a resident didn’t reflect what his actual activity was,” Lee said.

Lee said she confirmed the validity of the date and signature on his 2023 ballot and consulted with attorneys from the county and the Colorado Secretary of State’s office before disqualifying Bogs.

A vacancy committee composed of most members of the party’s executive committee has until April 18 to select a candidate to fill Bogs’ spot on the ballot. If the local committee cannot find a candidate, the state Republican Party will have until April 22 to select an eligible candidate.

The La Plata County GOP has in recent years struggled to find candidates to run in local elections. The party did not nominate anyone to run against La Plata County Commissioner Marsha Porter-Norton, a Democrat, who lives in District 2 and is also running for reelection. An unaffiliated challenger in either race could come forward before the November election, although Lee said nobody has expressed interest.

Bogs declined to speculate who the vacancy committee might nominate to take his spot on the ballot or if he would run in the future.

“I’m definitely looking to help my community in any way I can,” he said.


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