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RESTORE THE BALANCE MESA COUNTY COMMISSIONER CANDIDATE OVERVIEW

RTB is a bipartisan group formed to oppose political extremism and foster issues-based civic discourse. In 2024, only two county commissioner (BOCC) candidates have primary opponents—Janet Rowland and J.J. Fletcher, Republicans contending for the Republican nomination for District 3.

 

RTB sent a questionnaire (shown below) to each candidate and spoke to each candidate. Neither candidate saw fit to complete the questionnaire, making our usual numerical candidate scoring impossible. Accordingly, we have created the synopses below, which were drawn from the candidates’ campaign materials and websites, public information, their public statements and their social media activities.

 

CANDIDATE SYNOPSES

 

Janet Rowland

 

Ms. Rowland has been active in Mesa County government for many years, first as a county employee in social services. She was elected to serve three terms (2004, 2012, 2020) as a Mesa County Commissioner. During her service, she has held statewide positions and has represented Mesa County on state boards and agencies. She is seeking re-election and is endorsed by Scott McInnis, Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubinstein and Mesa County Sheriff Todd Rowell.

 

Her current term has been subject of controversy as some Mesa County residents accuse her of pursuing a personal vendetta against Jeff Kuhr, Director of Mesa County Health Department. Her actions resulted in the resignation of a Mesa County Health Board member and ultimately replacement of the entire Board. She formed a new board, on which she serves as a member. The new board removed Mr. Kuhr, leading to litigation that was resolved by a payment of a substantial sum of money to him.

 

Ms. Rowland’s social media accounts express doubt about the effectiveness of vaccines, and she would not acknowledge that human activities contribute to global climate change during a public forum last summer. RTB expresses reservations about her candidacy for re-election.

J.J. Fletcher

 

Mr. Fletcher is a fifth-generation Mesa County native. After graduating from Palisade High School, he pursued a small business career in Western Colorado. He was a past chairman of the Palisade Chamber of Commerce. He has received campaign endorsements from a number of local people, including Tim Foster, Ray Scott, Gary Franklin and Amy Ashcraft. Mr. Fletcher currently serves as President of Hope N’ Horses, a non-profit organization in Palisade. Its’ volunteers and therapists provide equine therapy to injured veterans and first responders.

 

Mr. Fletcher states in his campaign materials that his priorities as County Commissioner would be Economic Development, Mental Health and Agriculture, particularly and including water. His public pronouncements have questioned Ms. Rowland’s vendetta against Jeff Kuhr and the resulting expense to Mesa County.

 

Mr. Fletcher ran for Mesa County Commissioner as an Independent on one previous occasion and was defeated. He does not have a public track for voters to examine. We encourage voters to learn what they can about Mr. Fletcher from the sources available to them as they make their decision on this primary race.

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