La Plata County Democrats sent Bruce Baizel and Scott Graham to the primary ballot for county commissioner Saturday,while awarding a majority of delegates to U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet in his race against former state Rep. Andrew
Baizel won 49 delegates to 47½ for Graham. They both will appear on the Aug. 10 primary ballot.
Chris Dolphin finished third with 18 delegates. Her showing made her eligible to petition onto the primary ballot.
Jeff Mannix's candidacy ended after he attracted only one delegate.
It was gratifying to see that people responded," said Baizel, staff attorney for the Oil and Gas Accountability
Project in Durango.
People are looking hard at commissioner, and they're paying attention," he said.
Graham, a former Durango city councilor, said he was honored" by the result.
The whole process is just what democracy's all about," he said.
The eventual Democratic nominee will face Republican Bobby Lieb in what is expected to be a tough race for
In the Democratic Senate race, La Plata County will send 38 Bennet delegates and 12 Romanoff delegates to the state
convention May 22 in Broomfield.
Bennet, in a brief telephone call to the delegates, touted the Senate's passage of health-care reform.
The people won," Bennet said. The insurance companies lost."
Romanoff, in a telephone interview Friday, criticized the pay-to-play political culture" in Congress.
The Senate has not taken action to curb the abuses on Wall Street," he said.
Local delegate Tom Givón was among the Bennet supporters who spoke.
This is a difficult year for Democrats," he said. The worst thing we can do in a difficult year is bounce a sitting
Joe Colgan of Durango praised Romanoff, calling him an extremely bright and quick-minded individual."
The local Democrats nominated Karen Phelan, a longtime county employee, for the position of county clerk
and recorder. The current county clerk, Linda Daley, a Republican, is retiring.
Incumbent county Assessor Craig Larson and Surveyor Larry Connolly were renominated for their positions.
The Democrats did not nominate candidates for county sheriff, coroner or treasurer, all jobs filled by longtime
Delegates packed a large room at the Durango Community Recreation Center for the county assembly. State Sen. Bruce
Whitehead, D-Hesperus, spoke to the delegates, as did Brian O'Donnell, a candidate for the 59th Colorado House