401 Meeker St Delta CO 81416 970.874.4421

Kerry Donovan has earned our votes for SD5

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Dear Editor:

Most Americans are probably like me, very conflicted about the upcoming national and local elections.

On a very local level I have a growing, grave concern about the race for Colorado Senate District 5 where incumbent Democrat Kerry Donavon is being challenged by Delta County's own Republican Olen Lund. I know both of these candidates very well and I totally respect their heritage of pioneering agricultural ancestors. I have worked with both on issues and opposed both on other issues.

However, the almost ungodly amount of monies pouring into Lund's campaign from state and national political special interests groups should alarm everyone. This outside money is approaching $1 million. Why? Because Kerry Donovan has strong support in most of the counties in District 5, except for the Republican majority in Delta County. The campaign has become as ugly as some on the national "swamp" scenes, attempting to paint Kerry as some kind of radical liberal from a filthy rich resort which is simply not true. Just because her family's pioneering cattle ranch is in Eagle County near Vail does not turn her into an "elitist snob."

Delta County has had no stronger representation in the Colorado legislature in the more than 50 years I have lived here than Kerry Donovan. There is one issue alone that is justification for her continuing to represent us and it is an issue that very much involved Olen Lund, deploying gigabyte internet service in sparsely populated rural counties. No one other member of the legislature has worked harder on this issue than Kerry. Because of her efforts and her collaboration Delta-Montrose Rural Electric Association (DMEA) is now deploying fiber optic cable to premises throughout Delta and northern Montrose counties.

Lund however, as president of the DMEA board of directors, did everything he could to stop that innovative effort. DMEA was approached by a large contingent of community leaders at a board meeting in late 2015 and Lund's vigorous opposition resulted in him losing his seat at the 2016 annual meeting to fellow Paonia resident Brad Harding. Thus DMEA moved forward rapidly and now throughout their service area their wholly owned subsidiary, Elevate LLC, is busy deploying a world class system serving nearly 35,000 residents and businesses.

This is the biggest economic development event to happen in this area in most of our lifetimes. Olen Lund, as a Delta County commissioner, time after time, displayed this same "do not change anything" and above all don't be innovative or creative because everything is fine. But it was his behavior as DMEA president that was the straw that broke this lifelong Republican's back.

So I am asking Republicans, like myself, Democrats and our growing population of independents to join me in voting for Kerry to continue representing Delta County in the State Senate. She has earned it and is not trying to buy the seat.

Tom Huerkamp
Orchard City

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