Republican, Democratic and Independent candidates are currently vying for two seats in the Douglas County Commissioners Office. Both the Republicans and Democrats recently held their Douglas County conventions, and nominated candidates for the August 10 Primary Election and the November 2 General Election.
The Douglas County Commissioners are the governing board that directs land use, maintains bridges and roads, decides how much money to spend on a variety of services, and oversees the staff in the various County departments.
There are three Douglas County Commissioner Districts. Visit the Douglas County web site http://www.douglas.co.us/Board/default.htm] for a map of the districts and more information about the Commissioners. There is one Commissioner who lives in each District. All Douglas County voters elect all three Commissioners. Commissioners serve four-year terms, with staggered election dates.
The northeastern portions of the County, including Parker and the northern portion of CPN, fall in District I. The current Commissioner from this District, Walter Maxwell, is not up for re-election this year.
The north-central portion of the county (including Lone Tree and most of Highlands Ranch), fall in District III. The current commissioner from this District, Melanie Worley, is running for re-election this year.
The rest of Douglas County, including western portion Highlands Ranch, Castle Rock, and the southern portion of CPN, fall in District II. The current commissioner from this district, Jim Sullivan, is not running for re-election due to term limits. Sullivan is running for the Colorado Legislature, and there has been a lively battle among candidates to fill his District II Commissioner seat.
At the recent Douglas County Republican Convention, Jeff Wasden emerged from a field of candidates to gain the Party’s nomination to appear on the August 10 Primary ballot. Wasden, who is currently the President of the Highlands Ranch Community Association, got 32 percent of the delegate vote. Three Castle Rock residents split the remaining delegate votes: Steve Boand - 27 percent, Judy Crenshaw - 25 percent, and Jack Christiansen - 18 percent.
At the recent Douglas County Democratic Convention, Democrats nominated Castle Pines North resident Doug Gilbert. Gilbert serves on the HOA#1 board as well as the CPN Master Association board.
Republicans have nominated incumbent Commissioner Melanie Worley, who will be challenged in November by Democrat Ernie Felix, a retired engineer. Both candidates are from Highlands Ranch.
Will there be additional candidates?
Additional candidates could emerge (from any party) before the primaries or the general election. Candidates may petition to be added to the August 10 Republican or Democratic Primary Election ballots, and independent candidates may choose to petition to be added to the November ballot. Third-party candidates may also be on the ballot.
Of the Republican candidates who had campaigned for the District II seat, Crenshaw has endorsed Wasden, and Boand and Christiansen’s supporters are urging them to continue their campaigns by petitioning to be added to the August 10 Republican primary election ballot. Bill Henry, a former Republican candidate, has indicated he intends to petition on to the ballot.
Should Douglas County Expand to Five Commissioners?
Many of Colorado’s populated counties have five County Commissioners instead of three. A group of Douglas County citizens is initiating a proposal to expand Douglas County’s board to five Commissioners.
The citizen group is starting the process of collecting signatures on a petition. If the petition drive is successful, the question will be put to voters on the November 2004 election ballot. If the voters approve the initiative in November 2004, then two additional Commissioners would be elected at the next General Election in November 2006.