Garfield County Commissioner candidates debate in Glenwood Springs

Oct 19, 2016

Randy Essex (right), editor and publisher of the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, poses questions to Garfield County Commissioner candidates John Acha (left) and John Martin (center).

The two candidates vying for Garfield County Commissioner discussed their positions in a debate Wednesday hosted by Aspen Public Radio.


John Martin is the Republican incumbent who Democrat John Acha is trying to unseat.

The two men didn’t exactly spar. Even when they could ask each other direct questions, they instead wished one another well. Still, the hour-long debate did reveal key differences. Gas companies enjoy favoritism, Acha said. According to Martin, there’s only so much a commissioner can do about it.

Martin wants to create affordable housing through tax incentives, rules and regulations. Acha wants to require developers to provide a percentage of affordable housing. Both men think health care costs too much. Both men like the Rio Grand Trail, although Martin said it’ll never be come a railroad.

Early in the debate, moderator Randy Essex asked Martin to explain the accusation that he’s been eating out on the taxpayers’ dime. Martin said his actions have been legitimate: He’s conducting county business on county time.