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County Republicans pack the house during General Assembly

More than 250 Republicans, including 176 delegates, attended the Montezuma County Republican General Assembly Friday night at the County Annex. (Jim Mimiaga/The Journal)
Incumbent Gerald Koppenhafer voted onto ballot over challenger Blake Mitchell; U.S. Rep. Boebert attends event

More than 250 Montezuma County Republicans attended the party’s general assembly Friday night at the County Annex in Cortez.

The 176 certified delegates voted to put candidates on the primary ballot, took care of party business and listened to candidates’ speeches, including from U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert.

“It was an awesome turnout this year,” said party treasurer Jan Gardner.

Delegates voted unanimously to put District 1 County Commissioner Jim Candelaria on the ballot, who is running for a second term.

He faces two challengers — Republicans Tim Lanier and Liz Tozer — who are attempting to petition onto the ballot instead of going through the caucus and assembly process.

Gerald Koppenhafer was voted onto the primary ballot during the Montezuma County Republican General Assembly Friday night in Cortez. (Jim Mimiaga/The Journal)

For the District 3 commissioner position, delegates chose incumbent Gerald Koppenhafer for the primary ballot over challenger Blake Mitchell, who did not garner enough votes to make the ballot.

Koppenhafer received 122 votes, or 74%, compared with Mitchell, who had 42 votes, or 26%.

At the general assembly, a candidate must receive at least 30% of the delegate vote to make the primary ballot. They have the option to try and petition on, but Mitchell said after the vote that he will not.

Koppenhafer was appointed by the Republican Party in January to replace the late Joel Stevenson. He faces no Democrat challengers in the general election, and once elected will serve out the remainder of Stevenson’s term until 2024.

The party delegates unanimously voted onto the ballot all Republicans running for reelection to local offices, including Sheriff Steve Nowlin, Clerk and Recorder Kim Percell, Treasurer Ellen Black, and Coroner George Deavers. They are all running unopposed.

There were no Republican candidates for county surveyor. Current surveyor Ernie Maness is not running for reelection.

Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert talks with Don Kirk, of Cortez, after a speech at the Montezuma County Republican General Assembly Friday in Cortez. (Jim Mimiaga/The Journal)

State and national candidates attended the event. U.S. Rep Laruen Boebert gave a speech and mingled with the crowd.

Republican Gregory Moore, who is running for U.S. Senate against Democrat Michael Bennet spoke, as did Shelli Shaw, who is running against incumbent Democrat Barbara McLachlan for Colorado House District 59. Because of redistricting, House District 59 now includes a portion of Montezuma County.