Chuck McConnell enters Routt County commissioner race as write-in
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Chuck McConnell has announced his intentions to run as a write-in candidate for Routt County commissioner. He will be facing off against Republican incumbent Cari Hermacinski and Democratic challenger Beth Melton.
“I am running because I feel like I can do a better job,” McConnell said of his campaign. “I’m an engineer, and I have also managed big companies and small companies. I think that my engineering background will be a good complement to the two commissioners who remain.”
McConnell’s name is a familiar one when it comes to November elections. He ran unsuccessfully for the House District 26 seat in 2012 and then again in 2014 on the Republican ticket.
“I learned some really positive things,” McConnell said of his previous campaigns. “I went door to door a lot and met a lot of voters and got to hear some of there concerns.”
McConnell has lived in Steamboat Springs for 15 years, moving here on the advice of his son Chris, who passed away in 2008. His daughter Lory lives in Missouri and his other daughter Jennifer lives in Michigan, along with McConnell’s eight grandchildren.
“When my kids were young, we came to Colorado on vacation, and we came through Steamboat a couple of times, and my youngest Chris fell in love with it,” McConnell said. “Chris passed away 10 years ago. I think probably that’s one reason that Steamboat has always been very special to me.”
McConnell said he entered the race as a write-in candidate because he believes he can make a difference.
“I feel that government today can be run better,” McConnell said.
If elected, he said his business experience dealing with budgets, project management and cost reduction will be of use. He wants to make sure that tax dollars are effectively spent and county departments are organized in the most effective manner.
He wants to see the commissioners look at a more biker-friendly approach to chip seal projects and explore the idea of using a finer ground material in the shoulder areas.
“I think that a county commissioner job is 90 percent day-to-day problem solving and administrative things and probably about 10 percent political,” McConnell said. “I believe that it is positive to have more than one side of a discussion when policy issues come up that may be considered to be political. I have tremendous confidence that I can work with (county commissioners) Doug (Monger) and Tim (Corrigan) on those issues.”
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