New King challenger speaks at Democrats’ assembly

Claudette Konola reintroduced herself to Mesa County Democrats on Saturday as a challenger for the state Senate seat sought by Republican Steve King.

Konola previously had been a candidate for the House District 54 seat that King is departing in his bid for the Senate.

The move, Konola told delegates in the Central High School auditorium, does more than put a candidate up against King. It also makes it possible for her father to cast a vote for her, Konola said.

Her father, who suffered a stroke recently, wrote her a check to a political campaign, but would be unable to vote for her in the House race because he lives in District 55.

In Senate District 7, which includes all of Mesa and a part of Garfield County, “He can vote for me now,” Konola said.

Konola, a former president of the Downtown Denver Business and Professional Women’s Club and several other organizations, said she hopes to put her financial and job-development skills to work for the benefit of western Colorado.

She said she will turn her financial skills in particular toward maintaining the state’s educational system and stress the preservation of water quality on the Western Slope.

Her message, Konola said “will resonate with independents and some Republicans.”

Mesa County Democratic Party Chairwoman Martelle Daniels said she looks forward to the campaign.

“I can’t wait to see her debate Steve King,” Daniels said.

Senate District 7 includes two counties, so Konola’s nomination won’t be official until next month during the state convention.

Two other Democrats, Mesa County Coroner Dean Havlik and Robert R. Green, who is running for county surveyor, also were introduced to delegates.


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