Big Rick Enstrom takes a big fall at the Republican assembly

A hurting Rick Enstrom from his hospital bed at Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs on Saturday.
A hurting Rick Enstrom from his hospital bed at Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs on Saturday.

At 6-foot-5, Jefferson County Republican Rick Enstrom was trying to get in the back row when supporters for Sentate candidate Jerry Natividad took the stage at the Colorado Republican assembly Saturday.

Enstrom took a step backward to the stage curtain but discovered there was no stage left.

He went straight down 4 feet — missing a pole by a mere inches –and  landed on concrete. He broke three ribs in his back.

“I think my ego is as badly broke as my ribs after taking a digger in front of 6,000 people,” Enstrom said. “Jerry felt so bad. He was back there holding my hand and I said, ‘Get out there and talk to people.'”

Enstrom is convalescing at his Lakewood home.

“I’m not even close to OK. I have to get off the couch on my hands and knees,” he said. “It’s ribs. There’s nothing you can do about it but tough it out.”

Read moreBig Rick Enstrom takes a big fall at the Republican assembly

“I recited the words you all have said”

By Keara Brosnan

A new group of U.S. citizens oohed and aahed when they learned the government official in front of them had once been standing in their /zapaptos/babouche/shoes.

Judd Choate, director of elections for the Colorado secretary of state, and his two daughters, Mahlon and Jackie, during a citizenship ceremony in Centennial. (Photo by Keara Brosnan)
Judd Choate, director of elections for the Colorado secretary of state, and his two daughters, Mahlon and Jackie, during a citizenship ceremony in Centennial. (Photo by Keara Brosnan)

Judd Choate, elections director for the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, welcomed 46 new citizens originating from 20 countries during an event at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ office in Centennial last week.

“I just want to tell you as a citizen how proud I am of all of you. This is an amazing accomplishment that all of you have come to in your life and I think it’s something you should feel proud about,” Choate said. “I think it speaks incredibly well of you that you’ve put in the time and dedication to get to this moment in your lives.”

He pointed to his two daughters, Mahlon Fox-Wallick, 15, and Jackie Choate, 9, who was born in Jiangmen, China.

Read more“I recited the words you all have said”

Secretary Williams visits snowy San Miguel County

San Miguel County Clerk Kathleen Erie and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams in the clerks' storage area in the courthouse, which used to be the jail.
San Miguel County Clerk Kathleen Erie and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams in the clerk’s storage area in the courthouse in Telluride.

Snow greeted Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams one week ago when he drove to Telluride to meet with San Miguel County Clerk Kathleen Erie.

The visit was one of nine face-to-face encounters with county clerks in a four-day span, primarily in southwestern Colorado. (Six other blogs follow details encounters with the clerks.)

Erie called Williams a “good partner” and said afterward she was glad to talk to him to get an understanding of some of legislation the secretary is backing in the Colorado General Assembly.

The original San Miguel Courthouse burned down and bricks that were salvaged were used to build the new courthouse, which opened in 1888. Like some other older courthouses, what was once the jail is now a storage area for the clerk. The voter service and polling center used during elections is another county building 150 feet down the street.

Throughout the courthouse were signs that read “Happy Birthday, Jessie,” referring to staffer Jessie McConnell, who handles elections and vital records.

Springtime in the Rockies meant snow greeted Secretary of State Wayne Williams when he visited with San Miguel County Clerk Kathleen Erie in Telluride last week.
Springtime in the Rockies meant snow greeted Secretary of State Wayne Williams when he visited with San Miguel County Clerk Kathleen Erie in Telluride last week.

“In some bigger counties, vital records are handled by their health departments but we do it in San Miguel,” Erie said, adding that clerks end up seeing an array of operations, an observation made by other county clerks, too.

Erie won her first primary for clerk in 2010 by a mere 20 votes, but won the general election by 650 votes. She pointed out the county is heavily Democratic. Unlike some of her peers, Erie didn’t work her way up in the clerk’s office. She was a certified public accountant.

Williams also visited the Telluride Daily Planet while in town.

San Miguel County is known for its mountains . tourism and festivals, including the Telluride Film Festival, and the Telluride Jazz Festival.

Mesa County Clerk Sheila Reiner raves about Dominion after Tuesday’s municipal elections

(An earlier video from the Mesa County clerk’s office about Dominion.)

After tabulating the results of four municipal elections Tuesday night, Mesa County Clerk Sheila Reiner has even more good things to say about Dominion Voting Systems.

“In 2012 and 2014 we tabulated and tested for the same four municipalities but didn’t pull out of the parking lot until nearly midnight,” she reported in an e-mail. “Last night we were skipping out of the door — OK, maybe not skipping but walking out with heads held high — at 9:15 p.m.!”

In a number of counties, the smaller municipalities conduct their own elections but utilize the county clerk’s election team for ballot programming, printing-and-tracking mail ballot packets and ballot tabulation.

Read moreMesa County Clerk Sheila Reiner raves about Dominion after Tuesday’s municipal elections

A record-setting 20 candidates try to petition onto the primary ballot

Candidates and campaigns line up before the Colorado Secretary of State's office opened at 8 a.m. Monday to drop off petitions. From left to right: Lydia Blaha and Katey Price, with Senate candidate Robert Blaha's campaign; Joe Wood with state Senate candidate Erin Bennett's campaign; and Patrick Fry and his sister, Michele Fry, a state House candidate.
Candidates and campaigns line up Monday to drop off their petitions. From left to right: Lydia Blaha and Katey Price, with Senate candidate Robert Blaha’s campaign; Joe Wood with state Senate candidate Erin Bennett’s campaign; and Patrick Fry and his sister, Michele Fry, a state House candidate.

The 20 candidates who turned in petition signatures to get on the June 28 primary ballot appear to have set a record for recent elections.

A hat tip to Jake Ryan, a reporter and producer at KVNF who called to say 20 sounded like a lot and did we have numbers for previous elections.

The Colorado Secretary of State’s Joel Albin, the ballot access manager, did some hunting and provided numbers back to the 2008 primary.

The first figure is the number of candidates who turned in signatures. The second is how many were approved to be on the ballot after signatures were checked to determine if they were valid.

2014: 11 / 9

2012: 4 / 4

2010: 13 / 8

2008: 14 / 13

Read moreA record-setting 20 candidates try to petition onto the primary ballot