Garland Wahl, going out of her way for Washington County

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams at the Washington County clerk's office in Akron. Behind him is Brandy Ward, Clerk Garland Wahl and Esther Weis. (SOS photo)
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams at the Washington County clerk’s office in Akron. Behind him is Brandy Ward, Clerk Garland Wahl and Esther Weis. (SOS photo)

Garland Wahl was elected to her first term as Washington County clerk and recorder in 1982. She ran again four years later and won, and just kept running and winning.

“One term just went into another,” the 72-year-old Wahl said Thursday, after Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams visited her at her office in Akron.

“I work for the citizens of Washington County. That’s something I’ve tried never to forget. I try to go out of my way for them,” Wahl said, adding she once drove a ballot to a Greeley hospital so a resident could vote.

Other county clerks have high praise for Wahl. “Such a great mentor,” Morgan County Clerk Susan Bailey wrote on Facebook Thursday.

Garland Wahl in 1982.
Garland Wahl in 1982.

But Wahl is ready to give someone else a chance of being clerk, a job that includes elections, motor vehicle registrations, recordings and other duties. Wahl isn’t running for re-election in 2018.

Wahl said she enjoyed Williams’ visit. He met the staff, including new elections director Brandy Ward, and checked out the equipment setup. Washington is one of the counties that switched this year to Dominion Voting Systems.

“I have a of respect for Wayne,” Wahl said. “He’s been a county commissioner. He’s been a clerk. He knows about budgets and costs and elections.

“That matters.”

Williams served as El Paso County clerk and recorder before running for secretary of state in 2014. Since taking office in January 2015, he has made it a priority to visit county clerks in their offices and ask about their needs. On Thursday he met with Wahl and Logan County Clerk Pam Bacon. On Friday he will visit clerks in Sedgwick, Phillips and Yuma counties.