Richard Holtorf and Eckley Mayor Jesse Vance in the House District 63 Republican Party primary race as election day draws near.
Election day is June 28 and if the controversy between the campaigns is any indication, voters will want to withhold their ballots until then, to see what happens next. Almost everyday the race seems to bring a new twist. The winner will be the presumptive state representative, as there are no Democrats on the ballot.
Fireworks started in an otherwise uneven campaign during candidate-to-candidate questions and before the Morgan County Republican Party debate in late May, and they didn’t seem to stop.
A case in point is an anonymous text that was signed by several people in the district on Monday, allegedly by Eckley citizens. The text claims that Vance “mismanaged a wastewater lagoon project” by failing to ensure that erosion control measures were implemented, the text reads. The text continues, “When concerns of erosion were brought to Mayor Vance by the concerned citizens of Eckley, he failed to heed them.”
Vance dubbed the text message a smear campaign through his campaign Facebook page. Holtorf has denied the involvement of his campaign or as the source of the text.
“The truth with the Eckley sewer project is that there was insufficient compacting because of engineers and general contractors,” Vance wrote. “The city has been grappling with this from day one since the project was completed and lawyers have had to be involved, which has taken a long time.”
The text also indicates that it could cost Eckley residents “$200,000 to $300,000”.
“The sewer project was signed off on by the previous mayor and he was duped by a corrupt engineering firm,” Vance said. “There were a number of issues with the engineers throughout this project, which is one of the main reasons that inspired me to use different engineers for the Water Tower project, which I signed on during the closure.”
Complaint filed in SOS
Ten days earlier, Vance filed a campaign finance complaint with the Secretary of State’s Office, alleging that his opponent had filed contributions late, did not identify the purpose of the payments received and ended up recording contributions and expenses. account used.
“My ‘seasoned’ opponent’s campaign finance violations show disqualification or something. You decide,” Vance said on his Facebook account.
State law provides a candidate with a provision for correcting errors in their campaign finance report, which was initiated before Holtorf filed a complaint, he said.
“Despite these allegations, I have always been, and still am, committed to transparency,” Holtorf said on his campaign Facebook page. “While my opponent tries to run a smear campaign, I am committed to working hard for my district and rural Colorado to make a meaningful impact.”
There were three “missed” filings reported by the Secretary of State under the previous House District 64 Committee, which were eliminated. All filings were present under the terminated account, which Holtorf has said he believes may have been a glitch in the tracer system. TRACER tracks campaign finance details for public disclosure.
“While there was confusion about my account and my new district number with the Secretary of State’s office, I am working to resolve this minor issue,” Holtorf wrote. “Katie Kennedy, a renowned compliance strategist, has been approached to resolve this matter so that I can continue my time serving our constituents in Eastern Colorado.”
The secretary of state’s office cannot review a complaint completed before election day.
Vance also regularly hits out at Holtorf on another area of campaign finance during fundraising via his Facebook page. Vance has criticized that although he has accepted voluntary spending limits in the campaign, Holtorf has not. This is not a requirement.
The candidates have each garnered their share of support, and became another point of contention amid a campaign earlier in May.
A posting showing Morgan County Republican supporters in a photo was posted on Holtorf’s website in a way that is believed to have projected an endorsement from the Morgan County Republican Party. The post included the party’s logo.
Vance called it a “false statement”, but Holtorf explained that the posting was made by a webmaster inexperienced in politics. He also indicated that corrective action was taken some 12 hours before the party president issued a press release which was resolved immediately. Holtorf says he was unaware of the error and added that it “was not intended to mislead”.
Vance’s major endorsement comes from Sen. Greg Brophy: “I really respect Jesse’s commitment to our conservative values, his work ethic, and his ability to bring people together to accomplish a goal. It has been that, as a boy under 30, he has done more than most members of the community by age 50. I can only imagine what he will achieve over the next decade.”
Vance enjoys a 100 percent pro-life rating from Colorado for Life, and endorsements from the Colorado Chamber of Commerce and all three Yuma County commissioners. He has an AQ rating from the National Rifle Association’s Political Victory Fund, a rating reserved for a candidate in response to a questionnaire, and is similar to an A rating.
Holtorf has approval from the NRA and an A rating. He has also drawn support from Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, Rep. Mike Lynch and Rep. Matt Soper. Last week, he garnered support from US Senate candidate Joe O’Dea and also from conservative radio show host Kim Monson of KLZ 560 AM. Also last week, Holtorf earned the support of the Logan County Cattlewomen.
“The vote to support him was unanimous. Richard is a man of integrity, ethics and hard work. He will work tirelessly for our way of life here,” reads the approval. “A Republican rancher, farmer, feedlot manager and 29 As a retired US Army colonel with years of service, State Rep. Richard Holtorf plans to continue to provide veteran leadership, representing the people of rural Colorado.”
Vance has made stops in his home counties of Akron, Fort Morgan, Grover, Holyoke and Yuma since Memorial Day, according to his Facebook page. Holtorf has been visited by Grover, Merino, Peetz, Rogan and Wiggins during the same time period, according to their Facebook page, even during the designation of Highway 85 at Alt in honor of Pvt. Joe Martinez is the first Hispanic-American to receive the Medal of Honor.
source of attacks
Another point of contention for Holtorf has been who is behind the attacks on Vance’s campaign.
“My opponent has a mentor and political coach,” said Holtorf, who on his Facebook campaign page some people have said Brophy and Holtorf seem intimate. “My opponent’s family members and friends work for an organization called The Western Way. It promotes green energy across the United States.”
Holtorf has focused on his achievements in the last legislative session during campaign events, including debates.
“If I am such an ineffective legislator, we should look at the legislation I passed,” he replied, noting five bills, two joint resolutions, and a tribute item passed last session in the Morgan County debate. “I call that legislative success.”
A legislator can move a maximum of five bills in a session, but they can co-sponsor other laws.
During the Morgan County debate, both candidates claimed that the other had been attacked. Vance elaborated on an example relating to a claim that Holtorf said that he could not be “a great legislator and a family man at the same time”. Holtorf replied that he had never humiliated Vance, but received “erotic comments” and “sprawl” from Vance in return.
crossing the aisle
Vance has blamed Holtorf for his inability to work with Democrats in the State House, he says. Holtorf argues that he has that ability, but is unwilling to make sacrifices on issues of importance to Northeast Colorado.
In the Morgan County debate, Vance criticized Holtorf for resulting in a fentanyl bill, which Holtorf used to share his ability to operate in the corridor. The felony limit was reduced from four grams to one gram, but Vance argued that the legal limit should be zero. Holftorf explained that he was able to negotiate up to one gram, but that the legal limit would remain at four grams if he needed an intolerant policy. He predicted that the limit would be reduced to zero in the next session.
Holtorf also noted a farm tour he held on Friday, which he called some of the most extreme members of the Democratic Party in the House, but aimed at softening the urban-rural divide. Front Range Reps in this tour. Along with Jennifer Bacon and Judy Amabile, Rap Dr. Karen McCormick and Julie McCluskey. Republican Representative Mike Lynch and Republican Weld County Commissioner Scott James also joined the tour.
Vance had previously addressed Morgan County Republicans as well, according to a May posting and photo on his Facebook page. Holtorf says this was not an opportunity he was given.
faith, family, freedom
Holtorf’s campaign this week announced the receipt of the Faith, Family and Freedom Award from the Centenary Institute for the third year in a row.
“The Democrat Party has eroded conservative values for decades,” Holtorf said. “I have been sent to the State Capitol by my constituents to fight for our rural values and I will do just that.”
Holtorf was instrumental in the filibuster during abortion legislation, and in preventing redundancies in areas such as the Second Amendment and property rights, the declaration reads. He has also supported homeschool programs.
“I humbly accept this award,” Holtorf said. “I also thank my colleagues who understand the importance of faith, family and independence in solving the challenges of our state.”