With ballots going out to county voters next week for the 2012 primary election, KSJD Dryland Community Radio and the Cortez Journal have partnered to provide election preview coverage for Montezuma County and the 22nd Judicial District.
Starting Monday, June 4, through Friday, June 8, KSJD will air pre-recorded Q&As with candidates for the office of Montezuma County commissioner and 22nd Judicial District attorney during the Morning Zine program from 8:30 to 9 a.m.
The candidates responses to the questions will also appear in print in the Thursday, June 7 and Saturday, June 9 Cortez Journal.
The project originated as a partnership between the two organizations in an effort to allow for greater public participation in the primary process and provide in-depth local coverage of the election.
From KSJDs point of view, we are looking at doing more local news as it relates to the primary election, said Tom Yoder, the stations programming and media director. So much of the time in this area, the Republican primaries are the election because when it comes time for the fall election people vote straight Republican ticket. We wanted to really cover the primary, where the real choices are being made for politics in the county.
The Republican party is the only party with contested country races in the upcoming primary.
Journal Publisher Suzy Meyer said the partnership with KSJD grew out of the news organizations shared commitment to public participation.
Our local elections often are decided by the Republican primary, Meyer said. Combining KSJDs listening audience with our readership, both in print and online at cortezjournal.com, helps us ensure that voters know as much as possible about the candidates and issues. We thank Jeff Pope, Tom and KSJD for the opportunity to team up.
The questions presented to each of the candidates were compiled from nearly 70 submissions from community members. Yoder said the three questions asked of the county commissioner candidates and the four questions asked of the DA candidates represent the heart of the concerns expressed by voters.
We went through all the questions and came up with the top three or four representative themes, the common stuff we were seeing, Yoder said. What we were really trying to do is represent what the public was curious about. What came out of those questions were these sort of broader themes of economic development, the diversity of political views in the county and the relationship of governments.
The candidates answers to each of the questions will run back to back on KSJDs morning show so listeners have the opportunity to directly compare the views of the office seekers.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, the local radio station will air each of the county commissioner candidates answers to three questions.
On Monday, listeners will hear District 2 candidates Keenan Ertel, Pat DeGagne-Rule and Bud Garner and District 3 candidates Dewayne Findley and Casey McClellan address how they will balance economic development initiatives with environmental protections considering the perspective of agricultural producers, tourist interests and both urban and rural residents.
Tuesday, the candidates will answer how they plan to serve the diversity of constituents and political perspective throughout Montezuma County.
Wednesdays program will focus on what the candidates believe Montezuma Countys relationship should be with federal, state and tribal governments.
During Thursday and Fridays Morning Zine program listeners will hear DA candidates Will Furse and Russell Wasley address what they consider to be the most serious criminal issues in Montezuma County and how they would address such issues; what they consider to be the most important qualifications for holding the office of DA in the 22nd Judicial District; their position on plea bargains and restorative justice; and how they plan to interact with the community, both in terms of crime prevention efforts and outreach.
Primary election analysis will be provided after the Q&As each morning on KSJD.
Links to audio files of the candidates responses to each question will be available at www.ksjd.org and www.cortezjournal.com.
For more information, contact Pope or Yoder at KSJD at 564-9727 or Dale Shrull at the Journal at 564-6037.
Reach Kimberly Benedict at [email protected].