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Steve Schleiker

El Paso County Clerk and Recorder candidate Peter Lupia, a Republican, got one thing right during his interview with the Indy’s editorial board.

“Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum politically, elections are important and people believe that elections should be done properly and openly and transparently.” Unfortunately, pretty much everything else he said constituted the rantings of a far-right conspiracy theorist. And not a very prepared one.

Lupia said, regarding some of the safest elections in all the land, that “people have questions” and that those questions “aren’t getting answered.” Turns out, when he says people, he means about six of them. When he says questions, he can’t be specific. When asked if he tried obtaining the  (unknown) info to verify their claims, he said he did not. Lupia also claims he would go to hand-counting ballots in one of the most populous counties in the state. When asked how much that would cost, Lupia said it would be about the same as maintaining tabulation machines. He said he’d done the math but couldn’t show his work. Some of his ideas, like adding services to the DMV, aren’t allowed by law.

Anyway…

On the other side of this GOP race is current County Assessor Steve Schleiker, Lupia’s primary opponent. Elizabeth “Lisa” Wilkes, an unopposed Democrat, will run in the general election against either Lupia or Schleiker. 

Schleiker has done a fine job in his current position and, frankly, while Schleiker could be seen by some as a career politician, he is, by far, the least scary of the two GOP candidates. 

Schleiker, a proponent of fiscal responsibility and efficiency (both important when spending other people’s money), pointed out to our editorial board that while this is the most heavily populated county in the state, he operates with the smallest assessor staff in Colorado in his current role. 

Schleiker also recognizes that our state and county conduct some of the most secure elections in the country, which displays a vital grasp on reality desperately needed in clerk and recorder offices nationwide. 

And maybe we should have led with this but when asked who won the 2020 presidential election, Schleiker said Joe Biden.

Lupia? Donald Trump.

The Indy’s editorial board was also impressed with Wilkes. Her background in IT and mathematics, and her willingness to acknowledge legitimate concerns from both sides of the aisle, makes her uniquely qualified for this position. Additionally, her political leanings would lend some diversity to an otherwise dark-red county government. Our endorsement in the November general election may change, but for the time being, and for the sake of our own free and fair elections, we’re Team Schleiker.

VOTE: Steve Schleiker