Congratulations due to Scott, Justman, Pugliese
Given the large GOP registration lead throughout Mesa County, state Rep. Ray Scott and county commissioners-elect John Justman and Rose Pugliese began their respective campaigns with significant advantages over their opponents.
But all three of these local candidates worked hard during the campaign to solidify those advantages and ensure they were elected. None of them took the prospect of victory for granted. They knocked on doors, attended candidate forums and met with countless voters to make their views known to the electorate.
That hard work paid off, as each of them won victories of at least 20 percentage points over their respective opponents.
So congratulations to Scott, Pugliese and Justman for their victories.
Meanwhile, thanks to their opponents — Democrat Dan Robinson who challenged Scott, Democrat Dave Edwards who opposed Pugliese and independents Jana Gerow and John Leane who battled Justman. All of them put their lives and reputations on the line to run campaigns and provide voters with a choice.
Now, all of the three victorious candidates must prepare for their jobs representing the public once they are sworn into office in January.
Ray Scott has already spent two years in the Colorado House, so his responsibilities won’t be new to him. Nor will the major issues confronting the Legislature — the budget, education funding and marijuana regulations — be surprises for him.
What has changed, however, is that Scott will no longer be a member of the controlling party in the House. Democrats picked up enough legislative seats Tuesday to take over as the majority party once more, so Scott will now be in the minority. That means he will have to work harder and forge more agreements with Democrats to win approval of measures on behalf of his constituents in Mesa County.
Scott is well aware of the change and, based on his comments to The Daily Sentinel’s Charles Ashby Tuesday, he is prepared to deal with it.
Justman and Pugliese will replace longtime county commissioners Craig Meis and Janet Rowland, both of whom are term-limited. They will join Commissioner Steve Acquafresca in overseeing a county that seems to have ridden out the roughest patch of the recent recession in sound financial shape. For that, they can thank their predecessors.
Still, they will face tough decisions on county infrastructure needs, staffing and regulations. We trust both of them will be up to the tasks ahead.
The presidential election understandably received the most attention Tuesday, but the people we elect to represent us in local offices such as these often have an even greater impact on our lives. Selecting hard-working, responsible people is critical.