GOP candidate for County Commission is 10-year Guard member

The Republican primary field to replace term-limited Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese is getting crowded.

Robert Ballard, a member of the Colorado Army National Guard and committee member of the local chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, became the third person to publicly announce his candidacy for District 3 commissioner, a race that will be decided in the 2020 election.

"I'm at a point in my life that I want to serve my community in a substantial way by running for county commissioner," said the 27-year-old Ballard.

"I like serving the community that I'm in," he said, citing 10 years with the National Guard, his service with volunteer fire departments, and his work as a basketball coach.

He said he'll concentrate on attracting new businesses and industries to Mesa County if he's elected to the commission.

"We can accomplish this in the county by putting out information on why investors want to invest in the county, by making sure that we've got good county government infrastructure and by ensuring that our public safety sector isn't more burdened," he said.

He thinks he can make a difference in terms of current county operations as well.

"County government needs to improve efficiency, update its systems, and show more loyalty to its current employees that are working diligently to keep this county moving," he writes in a release announcing his candidacy.

"We should also be exploring revenue opportunities for the county that don't involve burdening our residents with tax hikes," he continued.

Ballard — married with two teenage kids and a 3-year-old — also said a primary focus of his campaign at the outset will be to get voters familiar with who he is.

One of his announced opponents in the race is former Mesa County Commissioner and Colorado lieutenant governor candidate Janet Rowland. The other person who has announced to compete in the Republican primary for the seat is entrepreneur Robert Prescott.

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