Larimer County voters face plenty of choices

With all the commotion surrounding the presidential election it would be easy to overlook the multitude of races lower on the ballot in Larimer County. Here’s what to look for:

Second Congressional District
The only race for a federal seat other than the presidential one is for U.S. Representative in the Second Congressional District.

The district was dramatically reconfigured with last year’s redistricting. Traditionally a reliable Democratic stronghold dominated by Boulder, the district became more competitive when extended to include Fort Collins and other portions of Larimer County previously contained in the Fourth Congressional District.

At the same time, Weld County was severed and joined to the Fourth District. That reconfigured Republican-dominated district now is represented by Cory Gardner of Yuma.

The redrawn Second District also includes all or parts of Jefferson, Grand, Park and Summit counties.

Democrat Jared Polis of Boulder is the incumbent seeking a third term. A successful Internet entrepreneur, he served six years on the Colorado State Board of Education and founded charter schools for immigrant and homeless students. Polis was elected to the U.S. House in 2008.

Republican Kevin Lundberg of Berthoud is the self-employed owner of a media and video production company. He was elected to the state House of Representatives in 2002 and served until 2009 when he was appointed to fill a vacant state Senate seat. He was elected to a full term in 2010.

Polis and Lundberg are deeply divided on a multitude of matters, particularly on social issues and the proper role of government.

Others competing for the seat are Libertarian Randy Lualin of Louisville and Green Party candidate Susan Hall of Broomfield.

Colorado Legislature
Larimer County is a prime battleground as Democrats work to retain their 20-15 margin in the Senate and gain control of the House that Republicans now control by a narrow 33-32 margin.

Senate District 14
Democrat John Kefalas of Fort Collins is attempting to move up to the Senate seat long held by the term-limited Bob Bacon.

Kefalas is a former educator, health outreach worker, job-training counselor and director of public policy and community affairs for Catholic Charities. He was first elected to the House District 52 seat in 2006 and re-elected in 2008 and 2010.

Kefalas is a member of the House Finance Committee and the ranking member of the House Health and Environment Committee.

Republican Syndi Anderson, also of Fort Collins, is a renewable energy researcher and civil engineer. She is a part-time contractor at the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden and is former owner of a photography business. Anderson also has worked with disabled people to help them become more independent through assistive technology.

Other candidates are Libertarian Jeff Johnston and unaffiliated Barrett Rothe, both of Fort Collins.

The district generally encompasses Fort Collins and the surrounding area.

House District 49
Democrat James Shelton of Berthoud is a self-employed business consultant who assists start-up companies with strategic planning, marketing, operations and sales.

Republican Perry Buck is a life insurance agent and former small business owner. She is a member of the Weld County Council, which reviews all county government operations, and the wife of Weld County District Attorney and former U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck. She lives in Loveland and also has residences in Windsor and Greeley.

The seat was previously held by Republican B.J. Nikkel. She was unable to seek re-election because her residence was excluded from the redrawn district.

The district covers most of rural Larimer County including LaPorte, Wellington and Red Feather Lakes as well as Windsor.

House District 52
Republican Bob Morain of Fort Collins retired in 2007 following a 27-year career with Hewlett Packard. He has since worked as an independent contractor providing computer and technical services to small- and medium-sized businesses.

Democrat Joann Ginal of Fort Collins has worked in the biological and medical fields for more than 20 years as a scientist focusing on pharmacology and research. Most recently she has acted as a medical science liaison in medical affairs.

Libertarian Chad Kidder also is seeking the seat.

Currently represented by John Kefalas, the district generally encompasses the eastern side of Fort Collins extending from Carpenter Road to Vine Drive.

House District 53
Republican Jon Fye of Fort Collins worked as a senior engineering technician at Celestica. After being laid off, he took various technical jobs in Colorado and Wyoming including with municipal and local governments. Fye now is a self-employed technical consultant.

Democrat Randy Fischer of Fort Collins is seeking a fourth term representing the district. He previously worked 20 years as a consulting engineer specializing in reclaiming and remediating abandoned mines. Fischer is the ranking member on the House Agriculture, Livestock, and Natural Resources Committee. He also serves as a member of the House Transportation Committee.

Libertarian Topher Lazarz also is seeking the seat.

The district generally encompasses the west side of Fort Collins from Carpenter Road to Vine Drive

Larimer County Commissioner
County commissioners must reside in their respective district, but voting is at large with all registered voters able to cast ballots.

District 2
Republican Steve Johnson of Fort Collins is running unopposed for the District 2 seat he was elected to in 2008.

Johnson was elected as a commissioner following a long career in the state Legislature. He was elected to the House in 1996, 1998 and 2000 followed by election to the Senate District 15 seat in 2002 and 2006.

District 3
Incumbent Republican Tom Donnelly moved to Loveland in 1993 and was elected commissioner in 2008. A land surveyor, he previously served as the county surveyor and on the Loveland Planning Commission.

Democrat Karen Stockley of Berthoud owns and operates a Fort Collins antique store. She has served on the Berthoud Planning Commission and the Thompson R2J Board of Education. In 2010, she ran unsuccessfully for the state House District 49 seat.

District Attorney, Eighth Judicial District
Republican Cliff Riedel is unopposed in replacing the term-limited Larry Abrahamson.

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