Smith stays in race for state board of education
While Marcia Neal may have changed her mind and decided to run for re-election to the Colorado State Board of Education, fellow Grand Junction Republican Barbara Ann Smith says she has not changed her mind about seeking the 3rd Congressional District seat on the board as well.
Smith became a candidate for the board in May with the assurance that Neal planned to leave her seat. Neal said she changed her mind and filed paperwork to seek re-election March 10 because supporters told her they worried Smith, as a non-incumbent, could not beat Pueblo Democrat Henry Roman. Roman entered the race March 4.
Smith said this week she believes she can beat Roman because she has more campaign experience than him. She thinks she can beat Neal as well.
“She needs to go out as a winner,” Smith said. “I hope it never gets to a primary.”
Smith and Neal have the opportunity to knock one or the other out of the race April 11 at the 3rd Congressional District Republican Assembly in Broomfield. If neither gets enough delegates, though, both will appear on a June 24 primary ballot.
Smith said she was surprised when she found out Neal was running again. She said she decided to stay in the race because she still believes she is the best person for the job and has been traveling the district to gain support for nearly a year. Smith said she has nothing negative to say about Neal’s character but she has concerns about her voting record.
“I was asked to run by a few people in the Republican Party who were not happy with how she was voting,” Smith said. “I will not split my vote.”
When reached for comment, Neal said Smith has been telling constituents she often sides with the three Democrats on the board but Neal said that’s not exactly right. Neal said the board frequently votes as a 7-0 block and that there were “maybe two times” she has voted to side with Democrats. She said Smith has also accused her of voting against a bill sponsored by Rep. Ray Scott, R-Grand Junction, to study a potential delay to implement new statewide testing in 2015 but Neal said she voted not to take a position on House Bill 1202.