Palmer announces bid for commission seat
Former Grand Junction mayor and city councilman Gregg Palmer publicly announced his candidacy for the 2014 Mesa County commissioners race Wednesday afternoon in front of the Old Mesa County Courthouse at 544 Rood Ave.
Palmer plans to run in District 2, the seat currently held by term-limited commissioner Steve Acquafresca. Palmer and former congressman Scott McInnis are the only two confirmed candidates in District 2. Both are running as Republicans.
Palmer told a crowd of about two dozen constituents he is “comfortable” in his position as owner of Brown’s Shoe Fit. He decided to come back to politics two years after his last term as councilman to “offer experience, leadership and proven problem-solving abilities to the citizens of Mesa County.”
“With the issues facing Mesa County as it struggles to recover from a downturn in sales tax, a lagging property tax and unemployment at unacceptable levels, I can no longer stand on the sideline and not offer to help,” Palmer said.
Palmer said he has spoken with Grand Junction Mayor Sam Susuras and Fruita Mayor Lori Buck about issues facing their municipalities and hopes to speak with the mayors of Palisade, Collbran and De Beque as well. Buck stood behind Palmer during his speech, as well as former Grand Junction City Councilman Doug Thomason, Home Loan Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jamie Hamilton, and Mesa County commissioner from 2003 to 2007 Tillie Bishop.
Bishop said he is supporting both Palmer and McInnis for his old spot representing District 2.
“They’re both good candidates and it’s their job, not mine, to convince the people of Mesa County that they are the candidate of choice and the one that can get the job done,” Bishop said.
Honesty, integrity and a willingness to take a stand on issues are the qualities Bishop said he likes in Palmer, adding he could say the same about McInnis.
“I hope they keep it on a high level of respect for each other and not get into any of the mud-slinging,” Bishop said. “When our elections are over in Mesa County we still have to live with each other.”