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Dolores school board candidates to speak in two different forums Wednesday

The Dolores School District Re-4A administrative building.
Candidates split to answer questions

The Dolores School District RE-4A Board of Education candidates will hold two separate, overlapping forum events Wednesday evening.

Candidates Lori Raney and Jerry Whited will participate in a Q&A session at the Dolores Community Center at 5:30 p.m. Kelly Turner, a member of the Dolores Education Association, will moderate.

The meeting will be broadcast on Zoom under meeting ID 897 0060 0373 with password YM8guc.

Candidates Casey Mclellan and Heather Barritt will host a Q&A at McClellan’s house at 29885 Colorado Highway 184 in Dolores from 5 to 7 p.m.

McClellan decided to hold a separate event at his house after Susan Garlick, president of the Dolores Education Association, endorsed Raney in an email to Chuck McAfee, a previous candidate for Montezuma County commissioner, on a listerv – software that manages an email list – that was created during his run.

An excerpt reads: “We have four candidates and would to help message a great strategy to support Lori Raney who is a positive force for education in our area. I’d be happy to answer questions about who the association plans to endorse and election strategies to help canvas voters both door to door and at the Farmers’ Markets on Wednesday evenings in Dolores.”

Garlick said she felt she should be able to express her opinion.

McClellan has not responded to a request for comment.

On his Facebook page, he wrote: “Both Heather and I have no qualms about stepping away from the DEA/CEA Candidate Forum. The Dolores Education Association shouldn’t set up a forum, for four candidates, and only mention the one the DEA is endorsing, two weeks prior to the forum...from our perspective, this is a big problem, an obvious conflict of interest, and neither of us want anything to do with it.”