GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.-
With less than a month until residents take to the polls, commissioner candidates for Mesa County aren't wasting any time getting their voices heard.
On Tuesday the Lions Club held a debate at Two Rivers Convention Center.
Republican Rose Pugliese, a candidate for District 3, said, "Originally, I started running because there were a lot of young professionals in Mesa County that had to leave here and find jobs elsewhere. I thought there was something we needed to do on an economic development level as county government to really get our economy going. To me, that's cutting out excessive government regulations."
Democrat David Edwards, also a candidate for District 3, said, "I have a background in management and finance and accounting. I have looked at how Mesa County's been run, and I feel like I have a commitment to open government and efficient operations that I think can transform the way we manage Mesa County so that it seems fair to people, it's more open to people and that everyone feels like we represent their concerns and not the concerns of the person who's in that position or their special interests."
The Lions Club gave candidates a platform to introduce themselves and talk about the issues.
Brad McCloud, marketing and public relations director for the Lions Club, said, "For us it's very important to get the candidates here and be able to ask them some of the important questions and get those answers so we can make a better educated decision come election day."
Republican John Justman, who's running for District 1, said, "I think we should sit down with Colorado Mesa University, Grand Junction Economic Partnership, Mesa County Economic Development and even the Incubator, and see if we're doing overlapping things … What can we do better and get better results? Spending less money and pull together to get business here and make us business friendly, because we need jobs, jobs, jobs."
Jana Bingham Jerow, another District 1 candidate who is unaffiliated, said, "Sometimes we hear a lot of things in the news that really makes people question whether they question their leaders. I want to lead the community, and I want to help other organizations within our community, everything from the Incubator, GJEP, CMU, our school district. To improve our community so that we can bring back jobs and improve our economy."
"It looks to me that the majority of the candidates that are running have at least done a good job trying to familiarize themselves with the issues that matter to voters, taxpayers and probably have done some level of work with administration and involved individuals in the county," said McCloud.
Although the Lions Club debate was civil, there's no question the race is fierce, with all the candidates giving the campaign everything they have going forward.
To learn more about the candidates, visit their websites:
Jana Bingham Jerow- Click here
John Justman- Click here
John Leane (not present at debate)- Click here
David Edward- Click here
Rose Pugliese- Click here