The pool of both potential and announced candidates keeps swelling for the seat on the El Paso County Commission being vacated by term limited incumbent Jim Bensberg.
Former UCCS Student Body President and El Paso Republican Party Executive Committee Member David Williams announced his intention to seek the Republican nomination for County Commissioner District 5 on Wednesday, May 20, 2009.
Mr. Williams joins House District 16 Chair and businessman Patrick Carter as officially announced candidates. State Board of Education member Peggy Littleton, former County Commissioner Ed Jones, and Colorado Springs Mayor Lionel Rivera are also rumored to be considering bids.
Mr. Williams will almost certainly be an interesting candidate. Up until recently Mr. Williams served as the Student Body President, where he sparked great controversy by refusing to sign a request made to release student fee money to a GLBT club because of his personal beliefs. If my memory serves me correctly, Mr. Williams exercised something similar to a pocket signing (where an executive allows something to become law without actually signing it), but the “damage” was already done. Mr. Williams was labeled as a bigot, motions were filed to recall him (but were later dismissed after an appeal), and he recently came up short on his bid for re-election. In between all of that Mr. Williams experienced something of a victory when he ran for a Bonus Member slot for the El Paso County Republican Party. Introduced by Kay Rendleman, Mr. Williams’ story at UCCS was recounted to the crowd and they in turn awarded him with the most votes for a male Bonus Member candidate.
Now the 22 year old Williams is running for County Commissioner, saying (via the Gazette) "The county needs a commissioner that will stand for what's right; a commissioner that will work to ensure that everyone can enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," he said. "This county deserves representation that is dedicated to providing limited government, low taxes, adequate public safety, and fiscal responsibility."
At this point, it is difficult to gauge how serious such a candidacy will be, or what kind of support Mr. Williams will find. It is also difficult to gauge what kind of candidate Mr. Williams will be. One thing is for certain though: the Republican primary for County Commissioner District 5 will certainly be the primary to watch in El Paso County!