Our county clerks: “Because I knew you I have been changed for good.”

Four of Colorado’s departing county clerks share a laugh at a clerks party Saturday night in the metro area. They are, from left to right, San Miguel County Clerk Kathleen Erie, Moffat County Clerk Lila Herod, Otero County Clerk Sharon Sisnroy, and Broomfield’s Jim Candelarie. (SOS photo)

They laughed.

“I love my husband — we’ll be married 60 years next year. But I don’t know if I want to be home with him all the time,” said Faye Griffin, the outgoing clerk in Jefferson County.

They envied.

“I’ll miss you all when I’m sitting on a beach next November,” said Hillary Hall, Boulder County’s term-limited clerk and recorder.

Longtime Jefferson County elected official Clerk Faye Griffin and her husband Walter at a party Saturday for departing clerks. (SOS photo)

They cried.

“Colorado is the leader in elections. I’m so proud of that,” said Bent County’s longtime clerk, Patti Nickell.

Most of the state’s departing county clerks gathered Saturday night at the Melting Pot in Louisville, where they were feted by the Colorado County Clerks Association. Chaffee County Clerk Lori Mitchell, president of the CCCA, read a letter to her outgoing colleagues.

“Your commitment and sacrifice to your office, staff and citizens of your county is what public service is all about. The county clerk is the hub of the community for connection to their government, and with that came challenges, wonderful memories and a front seat for history,” she said.

“Please remember you will always be a part of us — that our shared experiences and mutual understanding will never dissipate.”

Read moreOur county clerks: “Because I knew you I have been changed for good.”

Will Colorado swing blue? Ask the media.

Moderator Dick Wadhams asked questions of three journalists — Chuck Plunkett, Shaun Boyd and Joey Bunch — during a discussion on the role of media in politics at a forum in Lakewood last Thursday sponsored by the Foothills Republicans. (Rick Entrom/Foothills Republicans)

Three journalists discussed Colorado’s status as a red/blue/purple state, the condition of their industry and how it impacts political coverage, and the upcoming election during a forum hosted by the Foothills Republicans.

Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder Faye Griffin and her communications director Beth Clippenger at the Foothills Republicans lunch March 8. (SOS photo)

Chuck Plunkett, the editorial page editor of The Denver Post, CBS Denver’s Shaun Boyd and Joey Bunch with the Colorado Springs Gazette’s Colorado Politics fielded questions last Thursday from the audience and the moderator, former GOP chairman Dick Wadhams.

Before the start of the forum, Foothills President Rick Enstrom invited elected officials and candidates to introduce themselves, but it was Wadhams who got the biggest applause, when adding his 2 cents during a question about money in politics.

“Do away with every stupid finance law that exists,” he said. “Allow any amount of money from any entity at any time but with full and immediate disclosure and let the people decide if (the candidates) are bought off or not.”

Bunch got the biggest laughs with his homespun colloquialisms, including. “You know when a fact becomes a fact? When it gets a lobbyist.”

Read moreWill Colorado swing blue? Ask the media.

Jeffco, Broomfield county clerks talk elections with Secretary Wayne Williams

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams visits the Jefferson County Clerk’s office Thursday. From left to right, Gary VanDeStouwe, director of elections and technology; Shawna Weir, mail ballot and UOCAVA supervisor; Secretary Williams; and Cody Sawnson, deputy director of elections. (SOS photo)
Broomfield Clerk Jim Candelarie and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams. (SOS photo)

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams visited two county clerk’s offices, in Jefferson and Broomfield counties, Thursday during a whirlwind trip that also included a speech before the civics organization  Progressive 15 before heading to the Western Slope.

Williams met with Jefferson County Clerk Faye Griffin and her staff, and Broomfield Clerk Jim Candelarie and his staff.

“It’s important to actually view their operations and talk to their people to see if there is anyway our office can help,” he said.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, right, visits with Jefferson County election officials Thursday. He is with Gary VanDeStouwe, director of elections and technology, and Clerk and Recorder Faye Griffin. (SOS photo)

Last week, Williams met with Gilpin County Clerk Colleen Stewart and her staff in Central City, Clear Creek County Clerk Pam Phipps and her staff in Georgetown and Elbert County Clerk Dallas Schroeder and his staff in Kiowa.

“Wayne’s pretty responsive,” Candelarie said. “I enjoy working with him.”

He talked to the secretary about several issues, including witness verification of ballot signatures.

Griffin said she always enjoys talking to Williams, especially as an election nears. The coordinated election is Nov. 7.

Secretary of State Wayne Williams visits Jeffco, Summit clerks

Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder Faye Griffin, elections director Carrie Kellogg and Secretary of State Wayne Williams at the clerk's office on Friday.
Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder Faye Griffin, elections director Carrie Kellogg and Secretary of State Wayne Williams at the clerk’s office on Friday.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams on Friday thanked Jefferson County residents going through training to be an election judge, saying the counties couldn’t conduct elections without their help.

Williams met the judges-in-training when he visited with Jefferson County Clerk Faye Griffin. He later visited Summit County Clerk Kathy Neal in Breckenridge.

“It was good to have him here,” Griffin said. “It’s good to let the counties know that the secretary of state is interested in helping them. ”

In addition to talking to the elections judges, she said  Williams met the staff and checked out Jeffco’s election facility. All Colorado counties are holding an election on Nov. 3.

Griffin took office in January but she’s hardly new to the job. She earlier served eight years as county clerk beginning in 1999.

Both Griffin and Neal said they discussed with Williams his experience with elections. He served as the El Paso County clerk and recorder before being elected secretary of state in 2014.

Summit County Clerk Kathy Neal and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams in Breckenridge on Friday.
Summit County Clerk Kathy Neal and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams in Breckenridge on Friday.

“That seems logical, to have someone who knows how elections works, ” Neal said.

She also praised the secretary of state’s elections division, a compliment Williams hears as he travels the state.

The secretary and the clerks also discussed the upcoming election on Nov. 3.

Only one statewide measure is on the ballot, Proposition BB, which The Denver Post says offers voters “a choice” on how to handle  $66.1 million in marijuana taxes collected in the first year of legal pot. Should lawmakers have permission to spend the money on school construction and other programs? Or should the state refund the money, giving most of it back to recreational pot growers and users?

Most counties also have on their ballots local school board races and issues from special districts or municipalities. Mineral is the only county that has just the statewide issue on the ballot.