Politics are about to become very local as the list of those seeking an office at the Thornton civic center is finalized. The list has some notable incumbents, fascinating new comers and some old retreads trying for a new office.
Here’s a quick look at the candidates in each race:
This is the big prize and the one race in which all Thornton residents need to pay attention and choose carefully. Erik Hansen vacated this seat when he was elected to Adams County Commissioner so it is completely up for grabs. Vying for the seat are two longtime Adams County Democrats with lots of baggage and a relative newcomer with a lot of potential.
Mack Goodman is a city council retread having served six years on council in the 80s before starting his latest round two years ago. He has been acting mayor for the past nine months and this has given us a chance to see how he would run the city. After witnessing his performance, Thornton voters need to run away from this choice.
Current councilman Val Vigil has only held his current seat on council for two years and is looking to move up. This virtual lifelong politician has not shown much beyond his casting votes that repay his union campaign contributors and his ability to split council rather than work to a consensus. Vigil represents the old guard in Adams County and his ties to the Adams Family make him a very questionable choice that should be avoided.
Heidi Williams is a newcomer to city elections but not to the city or to the issues that matter to residents. This Adams 12 Five Star School District school board member appears to have what it takes to lead the city forward. As a small business owner raising a family, she knows firsthand the challenges Thornton residents and businesses face. She is fresh alternative that can provide the new blood that is desperately needed in Thornton.
Ward I City Council
Steve Lebsock is term limited so this race is wide open. While we didn’t always agree with Lebsock, he was a straight shooter and we appreciated that. Trying to occupy his seat are Jenice (JJ) Dove and Lee Cantu.
This is Dove’s second try at getting a seat having lost to Mack Goodman two years ago. Her list of endorsements include a lot of the old guard liberal Adams Family and of course the required labor unions. It is hard on first blush to see her as accomplishing much beyond continuing Thornton’s leftist slide.
As for Cantu, quite frankly there isn’t much out there on him. We’ll learn more though between now and election day and see if he is a viable alternative.
Ward II City Council
This race pits current councilmember Eva Henry against Richard Gianzero.
If you are looking to find a liberal on city council, you don’t need to look any further than Henry. While a very nice person, her agenda is clearly one that supports the left. During her first term she backed every liberal measure to come before council, whether it was in the best interest of the citizens of Thornton or not. She of course is endorsed by the establishment Adams County Democrats, a warning sign in and of itself.
Richard Gianzero presents an interesting alternative. He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, has lived in Thornton for 20 years and was a longtime employee of the Department of Energy and Adams 12 Five Star Schools. As a small business owner he would seem to know what it is going to take to get businesses to come to Thornton and he promises a non-partisan approach – something that can’t be said about Henry.
Ward III City Council
This may be one of the most interesting races in the city to watch as incumbent Beth Humenik faces a challenge from Sam Nizam.
As an incumbent having served four years on council already, we should be able to draw on a great deal of information on which to base an opinion about Humenik. The problem is that she really has not done much to distinguish herself beyond her highly scripted commentary during city council meetings (Zzzzzz). The best thing for her reelection chances Humenik has going for her is her opponent.
While Nizam is a small business owner and someone we would consider based on that, a look around shows that he definitely lacks the temperament to work with others on council. He has already proclaimed that he would happily play the role of ‘Mr. No’ on council. A look through his Facebook postings show someone who is hardcore left of center and full of disdain for anyone who does not agree with his liberal views. He definitely lacks the mentality to serve on council.
Ward IV City Council
Sadly the citizens of Ward IV have no choice in this contest as no one has filed to run against incumbent Eric Tade. He will get to cruise to another term without any effort. While Tade is relatively moderate despite his left leanings, it would have been nice to see someone challenge him.