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Ament, Stapleton battle in state treasurer primary

To face incumbent Democrat Cary Kennedy for state treasurer in the November general election, Republicans J.J. Ament and Walker Stapleton first have to pass the hurdle of the Aug. 10 primary before the winner can stand as the GOP candidate.

Ament, a Littleton, Colo., financial executive has barely distinguished himself from Denver Real Estate investor (and Bush family member) Stapleton — both are calling for the reform of PERA (Public Employees’ Retirement Association), have articulated the need for further belt-tightening at the state level (and honoring the spirit of TABOR (the Taxpayer’s Bill of Right, subjecting tax hikes to voter approval and placing limits on spending and revenue increases).

Both candidates have also spoken out against Amendments 60 and 61, and Proposition 101, saying the ballot measures would be disastrous for Colorado and state revenues.

Both candidates have also criticized Kennedy’s conservative handling of the state’s investment portfolio (who has followed the same strategies as her Republican predecessors, Mark Hillman and Mike Coffman).

In an unusually contentious primary race, Stapleton has held a distinct fund-raising advantage. In June, Ament had raised little more than $7,500, with only about $76,000 cash on hand. For his part, Stapleton took in over $11,000 in June and had over $226,000 in the bank.

Either Ament or Stapleton will face a well-funded Democratic challenger after Aug. 11, with Kennedy having raised over $66,000 last month.

Mail-in ballots have been sent out from the Archuleta County Clerk’s office and must be returned by Aug. 10 to that office. Early voting in the primary is Aug. 2-6 at the county courthouse.

The deadline for changing party affiliation has passed, but registered unaffiliated voters can declare a party affiliation at the polls in order to vote in a party primary.

jim@pagosasun.com