Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton may be ahead in the polls, but local Democrats said they don’t plan to sit back and ride their good fortune to Election Day.
“Even though we may think he (Donald Trump) is doing our job for us, that might not be true,” said Ana Moran, an organizer for the La Plata County Democrats. “Don’t have too much faith. We still have to keep fighting to make sure Hillary Clinton gets elected.”
Democrats officially opened a campaign office Sunday in Durango that will serve as a headquarters for phone banking and voter registration efforts. The office is one of 16 in Colorado that will help coordinate campaign strategies at a federal, state and local level.
About 75 people attended Sunday’s grand opening, including some who had to stand in a hallway or listen through open windows at the front of the building as candidates gave stump speeches.
Gail Schwartz, who is running for the U.S. House of Representatives, accused her opponent Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, of selling off public lands to oil and gas interests.
There’s a place for mineral development, she said, but it has to be done in a way that protects habitat, recreation, water quality and quality of life.
“Colorado’s recreation economy is $35 billion – 305,000 jobs,” she said. “... Those are jobs of the future; that’s why young people want to stay in our communities. That’s our opportunity to grow our economies and making sure that we know that we’re going to be successful moving forward on the Western Slope.”
Schwartz also vowed to fix the Affordable Care Act rather than repeal it and to end Citizens United, a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down limits on independent political spending by corporations.
La Plata County Commissioners Gwen Lachelt and Julie Westendorff, who are both seeking re-election, said they put the county on a new path as it relates to planning for the future, protecting public lands and strengthening relationships with local and surrounding communities.
Both said they want to continue their efforts for another four years.
“We have a lot left to do,” Lachelt said.
Said Westendorff: “Please allow Gwen and me to continue representing you, representing the interests of this community, the interests of the people. We listen, we hear you, we try to do what’s best for you, we try to do what’s best for this community. It takes both.”