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La Plata County GOP selects new leaders

Executive committee turnover comes weeks before caucus and assembly
Attendees of the La Plata County GOP caucus in 2022 listen to Dave Peters, chairman of the La Plata County Republicans, at VFW Post 4031 on Main Avenue. (Aedan Hannon/Durango Herald file)

The La Plata County Republican Central Committee has a familiar face at the helm following a tumultuous moment among the party’s leaders.

Dave Peters, the party’s former chairman, was selected once again to lead the executive committee, an email to party members sent Monday announced. The position was vacated on Jan. 18 following a tense standoff between former Chairwoman Shelli Shaw and other members of the committee.

The same day Shaw resigned, First Vice Chairwoman Kelly Hegarty also announced she was stepping down. She has been replaced by Bayfield resident Nikki Boling.

Vanessa Ruggles also resigned as second vice chair in December, according to a letter circulated to some of the region’s Republicans. She was replaced by Hesperus resident Ron Bogs, Monday’s email newsletter said.

The transition comes just weeks before the party’s precinct caucus, on March 7, and assembly, on March 14.

Party members will elect precinct committee persons at the caucus, who will in turn select candidates for the party’s primary election, which will take place June 25. The presidential primary takes place March 5.

“With his (Peters’) wealth of experience in caucus and assembly proceedings, as well as having navigated a Presidential election, we are assured that the La Plata County Republican Party is in capable hands,” the party’s secretary, Hope Scheppelman, wrote to voters. “Dave's strong leadership skills will undoubtedly guide the party, the grassroots, and the entire central committee toward success, and we appreciate his dedication to serving in this important role.”

Peters initially said he would be open to an interview with The Durango Herald, but did not respond to attempts to contact him at the scheduled time.

According to reports filed at the end of October, both the county’s major political parties had about the same amount of cash on hand. The GOP had $47,286 in the bank, while the La Plata County Democratic Party Central Committee had $46,585 on hand.


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