After a call to open Tuesday night’s GOP caucus meeting at Precinct 9 in prayer went unmet, the assembly started instead, with the Pledge of Allegiance.
About 30 Republican voters convened Tuesday, March 4, at the Montezuma Valley Presbyterian Church to start the 2014 election process. Those in attendance heard directly from two Montezuma County sheriff hopefuls, including incumbent Dennis Spruell and challenger Diane Fox.
“My goal has always been to be the sheriff of Montezuma County,” Spruell said.
Spruell outlined a handful of achievements from his inaugural term as sheriff, ranging from allowing inmates to watch the National Geographic Channel because he’s a “nice sheriff” to his stance to defend the “federal government from encroaching” on Second Amendment rights.
“I’m going to be sheriff for four more years, because I still have a lot of work to do,” Spruell proclaimed.
With camera bulbs flashing, Spruell closed his remarks with a warning about news coverage.
“The newspaper is here taking my picture,” he said. “Don’t let the liberal media decide your sheriff.”
Fox was more reserved, stating that she was running for sheriff as a vow to her mother.
“My mother passed away on Sunday, and she made me promise not to give up,” she said.
Fox outlined her career with the Cortez Police Department, saying she was able to fulfill her longtime dream when she took her oath of office with the police force on March 11, 1993.
“When I was in school, a little boy told me that girls couldn’t be police officers,” Fox recalled.
A breast cancer survivor, Fox was forced to retire from the police department, but said she now has a new motto for her life: no regrets. If elected, she vowed to remain committed to public safety, professional standards, financial transparency and a safe and efficient jail, to name a few.
“I love public safety,” Fox said. “It’s my passion.”
In addition to the two candidate speeches at the caucus, a total of 13 people initially nominated themselves to serve as delegates to the county assembly later this month.
In the end, Precinct 9 selected eight county delegates and eight alternates. At the March 21 county assembly, the delegates help determine which GOP candidates make it onto the ballot.
Jan Gardner described Tuesday’s meeting at Precinct 9 as a “small turnout.”
“It was a quiet caucus,” she said.
Correspondence from potential candidates were also read at the caucus – including letters from another sheriff candidate, Steve Nowlin; potential commissioners Donnie Tanner and James Lambert; coroner candidate George W. Deavers; and county clerk candidate, Kim Percell.
After about 90 minutes, the caucus closed Tuesday with a secret straw poll of potential GOP candidates for governor and U.S. senator.
Results from the poll were to be released on Thursday.
Other GOP candidates hoping to make the ballot in the upcoming election include Jim Candelaria, commissioner; Cynthia Claytor and William Davis, assessor; Sherry Dyess, treasurer; Michael Hall, coroner; and Ernest Maness, surveyor.