Baca County to Secretary Williams: Howdy, partner

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and other elected officials participated in a town hall this morning in Baca County. From left to right: state Sen. Larry Crowder, Assessor Gayla Thompson. Williams, Treasurer Susan Cochell, Sheriff Dave Campbell and County Clerk Sharon Dubois. (Photo by Sarah Steinman, Plains Herald)
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and other elected officials participated in a town hall this morning in Baca County. From left to right: state Sen. Larry Crowder, Assessor Gayla Thompson, Williams, Treasurer Susan Cochell, Sheriff Dave Campbell and County Clerk Sharon Dubois. (Photo by Sarah Steinman, Plainsman Herald)

It’s 260 miles from Denver to Baca County in the southeastern most part of the state so you can bet that the citizens there appreciated a visit today from Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams.

“It was great,” said County Clerk Sharon Dubois. “I introduced Wayne to everyone — of course, it’s Baca County so I knew everyone.”

Williams, other county elected officials and state Sen. Larry Crowder participated in a town hall meeting at the courthouse in Springfield.

Baca — which the locals and longtime Coloradans pronounce Back-uh —  boasts a population of 3,682 people and the towns of Springfield, Walsh, Campo, Prichett, Two Buttes and Vilas. It borders New Mexico, Oklahoma and Kansas. Baca County is so remote that Dubois said she tells new ministers it probably feels like they’re on a mission.

“We’re closer to Amarillo, Texas, than we are to Pueblo,” she said. “But we’re still Colorado. I just wish they’d quit standing in front of Springfield when they give the weather report.”

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and the staff of the Baca County Clerk's office. Clerk Sharon Dubois is standing next to Williams. The others, from left to right, are Cheryl Rutherford, Billie Brown, Jessica Dickey, Penny Self and Diana Baxter.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and the staff of the Baca County Clerk’s office. Clerk Sharon Dubois is standing next to Williams. The others, from left to right, are Cheryl Rutherford, Billie Brown, Jessica Dickey, Penny Self and Diana Baxter.

Dubois has worked in the clerk’s office since 2007. She was elected clerk in 2010 and again in 2014. One staffer, Diana Baxter, has more than 30 years experience in the clerk’s office.

Williams, who has made it a goal to visit all the county clerk’s offices, said one reason he wanted to get to Springfield before the June 28 primary is Baca is one of the counties that has switched to Dominion Voting Systems.

The secretary last year selected Dominion to supply future voting equipment for counties after Dominion and three other voting systems tested their products in eight counties during the November election.

Baca is one of 18 counties that will be using the equipment this year. Mesa County, which also has switched to Dominion, gave the new system rave reviews after using it to conduct two municipal elections. Dubois said she’s impressed with the company, and thrilled about the visit.

“Wayne is very personable. He was a lot of fun, I thought,” Dubois said. “He made my staff very comfortable. He seemed like a partner.”