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Jeffco Commissioner Hartman to seek second term

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By AJ Vicens

Jefferson County Commissioner Kathy Hartman won an important endorsement recently.

"My husband has voted," Hartman wrote recently in a newsletter sent to supporters. "Despite facing four more years of dinners alone, weekends involved with community meetings, and generally not seeing much of me, my husband is actively supporting me in running for a second term as your county commissioner."

Hartman, the lone Democratic commissioner in Jeffco, hasn't formally announced her candidacy but acknowledges that she will stand for re-election in November 2010.

"I would not be running for re-election unless I thought I was doing a good job for the citizens of Jefferson County," Hartman said.

Hartman is getting an early start so she can build a campaign infrastructure and get the ball rolling on donations. It took $67,000 for Hartman to upset the late Dave Auburn in 2006, the Republican who represented South Jeffco and most of the mountainous part of the county. This time, Hartman "wouldn't be surprised" if she needed more than $100,000 to win.

"Although it's not a high-profile race like a governor or a senator, the electorate I have to reach out to is larger than a congressional district," Hartman said. "To win the election, you need 230,000 votes."

Each of the three Jeffco commissioners represents a district, but the election is countywide. There are more than 372,000 registered voters in Jefferson County.

Hartman says her record in office should be enough to earn her a second term.

"I'll focus on my efforts to stand up for the citizens of Jefferson County in land-use actions and human services," Hartman said. She cites a vote in April 2008 to deny the expansion of South Jeffco's Rock of Southwest Baptist Church. The church and its surrounding community were locked in an acrimonious battle over the expansion for months. She was the lone no vote, saying at the time: "This is a travesty for the neighborhood. I think this is wholly inappropriate."

She also voted against Colorado Christian University's plan in June 2008 to sell some of its land to Shea Homes, which planned to build 230 houses in the Morrison area. Again, she was the lone dissenting vote.

"In some areas, I might not have been as successful as I would like, but I think I have a proven leadership track record," she said.

No challengers have announced yet. Don Ytterberg, chairman of the Jeffco GOP, was traveling and couldn't be reached for comment.

Fellow Commissioner Kevin McCasky, a Republican, declined to comment on Hartman’s decision to run again. But Commissioner Faye Griffin, also from Hartman’s rival party, shared her thoughts.

"I don't know who will be running against her, so I can't say I'll support her," Griffin said. "But I have been impressed with what I've seen her do thus far."

Contact AJ Vicens at aj@evergreenco.com, and check www.columbinecourier.com for updates and breaking news.