Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Sheriff Bill Elder seeks second term, and political races shaping up

Posted By on Tue, Aug 8, 2017 at 5:15 PM

click to enlarge Sheriff Elder: For campaign business, call him at the Sheriff's Office. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Sheriff Elder: For campaign business, call him at the Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff Bill Elder will seek a second term in El Paso County, having filed for re-election in the 2018 election way back on March 24.

But there does appear to be a snag: Elder's campaign candidate affidavit filed with the Secretary of State lists his residential phone as a number that rings to his office at the Sheriff's Office. That's curious, given that campaigns and official business aren't supposed to mix.

Reached at that phone number, Elder says, "I don't have a home phone." Asked if he has a cell phone he could have listed, he says, "I have a personal cell phone, but I'm not putting my personal cell phone on it. I'd get all kinds of crank calls."

He promised to "get some kind of phone machine" when "the campaign ramps up."

When asked if he saw anything wrong with using his elected office's phone on his re-election campaign candidate affidavit, he says, "I'm not going to comment on that."

Colorado Ethics Watch Executive Director Luis Toro says, "No, it's not OK."

"You shouldn't be using public resources for your campaign," he says. "This would be using a public resource of a government phone as your campaign phone number."

The purpose of listing phone numbers on affidavits is to allow the Secretary of State's Office to reach candidates if problems in their campaign finance filings arise, Toro says.

"They ask for a residential number, and that's what they want," he says. "It's not the biggest thing in the world, but that's not the way you're supposed to do it."

In other election news, many of this year's candidates have familiar names:

A battle for the Republican nomination in El Paso County Commission District 1 next year is shaping up between Holly Williams and Ann Howe.

Williams, wife of Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, who himself served as a county commissioner for the maximum allowed eight years, has filed to succeed Darryl Glenn. Glenn is serving his second term representing the north District 1 on the commission, and has said he'll challenge Doug Lamborn for the Republican nomination in Congressional District 5.

Holly Williams also served some years ago as public trustee, having been appointed by then-Gov. Bill Owens on whose campaign she and her husband worked on. She also worked for Lamborn for a time and now reportedly is back on the county payroll working in environmental services. We've asked the county for more specifics but haven't heard back. We'll update if and when we hear something.

Her opponent, Ann Howe, is a defense contractor and former New Hampshire state representative.

Another with deep ties to the Republican party is Anna Camille "Cami" Bremer, who's running in Commission District 5, which covers most of Colorado Springs. Peggy Littleton is in her second and last term as the District 5 commissioner. Bremer is married to Eli Bremer, former El Paso County GOP chair and son of former County Commissioner Duncan Bremer.

In addition, Assessor Steve Schleiker, Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman and Treasurer Mark Lowderman, all Republicans, are seeking re-election. Lowderman served the maximum eight years as assessor before being elected treasurer in 2014.

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