August 24, 2014 Updated: August 24, 2014 at 12:33 pm
As the November election approaches, The Gazette's editorial board will weigh in on key races with endorsements that share our view of candidates after a process of due diligence.
We begin today with the two races for the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners.
County commissioner, District 5
Jariah WalkerThe Gazette's endorsement of Peggy Littleton is based on her proven performance as a county commissioner and former member of the Colorado Board of Education. Not only is she an experienced public servant, she brings a wide variety of expertise in several vital areas important to El Paso County. Her background in education, emergency preparedness and community activism is a valuable asset useful as the county moves forward on stormwater, City for Champions and public safety.
Peggy Littleton commitment to open government can be seen in her accessibility to constituents and her cooperative approach to professional media.
Peggy Littleton was proactive when substantive allegations against Sheriff Terry Maketa surfaced this spring, calling for his resignation before others who eventually followed her lead.
She has been integral in community efforts to bring more affordable flights to Colorado Springs Airport and immediately began devising a plan that could retain the Colorado Balloon Classic in our area.
She has demonstrated knowledgeable support of our military, seniors and the business community.
Littleton's commitment to integrity in government was seen when she advocated giving voters the opportunity to reverse a controversial extension of county commissioner term limits.
Littleton's Democratic opponent Jariah Walker appears to be a good, honest man who is obviously invested in the community he wants to serve. He wants to move our county forward but needs to develop as a community leader. We think he has a future in helping our community in some leadership area. He could be a good addition to the Colorado Springs City Council.
County commissioner, District 1
The Gazette's endorsement of Darryl Glenn recognizes experience and dedication to the community in which this commissioner has spent most of his life.
As tensions between the legislative and executive branches of city government dominate the news, Glenn believes he has an obligation to help county government project stability. He worries that perceptions of instability in Colorado Springs are hurting the region's ability to attract good companies and may even undermine efforts to retain military installations.
A lawyer and graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, Glenn is well connected throughout the region's military community.
Though successful, Glenn knows firsthand the struggles of too many families in El Paso County. During his childhood, his mother worked to put herself through school to become a nurse.
His father, after retiring as a chief master sergeant in the Air Force, struggled as an entrepreneur and was often away on business. Living in a family of Democrats, Glenn said he became a Reagan Republican as a teenager and was the real-life version of TV's Alex P. Keaton.
Though declining to be specific, Glenn said he has political ambitions beyond county government and wants to help the Republican Party articulate the American dream of accomplishment and success.
Like Littleton, Glenn advocated giving voters the opportunity to reverse a controversial extension of county commissioner term limits.
Glenn's opponent, Thomas Nieman, has never held elective office and said he ran mostly so Glenn would not get re-elected without opposition. Nieman believes county commissioners could and should do more to control the Sheriff's Office. An affable man, Nieman's credibility as a candidate is undermined by the fact he had raised no money as of late August and had no plans for so much as a campaign website.