Blecha announces for District 2

Betsy Blecha of Wray announced this week her candidacy for the Yuma County Commissioner District 2 seat. She is running as an unaffiliated candidate. There are now five running for the season, Democrat incumbent Dean Wingfield, Republicans Chris Wood and Scott Weaver, and Mindy Whomble, who also is running unaffiliated. (There are four candidates running for the District 2 seat, Republican incumbent Robin Wiley, Republican Ray Prentice, unaffiliated Philip Riggleman, and Democrat Dave Blach, who announced this week just like Blecha.)

Following is Blecha’s announcement release.
“My name is Betsy Blecha and I am announcing my intention to run as an unaffiliated candidate for Yuma County Commissioner for District 2.
Prior to moving to Wray, I resided in northwestern Colorado for 20 years, most recently in Walden, located in Jackson County. My husband Matt and I wanted to be closer to friends and family and to give our two children William (6) and Adeline (3) the opportunity to grow up on the rural landscape because we understand the values this environment can have on growing children. We are also part of an agriculture family that has been farming and ranching on the same land since 1948, and my young family represents the fourth and fifth generation of producers.
Some will say not much moss grows under my feet. My education includes a bachelor degree in Recreation from SUNY Cortland College and a masters in Nonprofit Management from Regis University. During my time residing in northwest Colorado, I served as a Jackson County Commissioner, and chaired the last two years of my term. It was an honor to serve the residents of Jackson County, which is similar to Yuma County in that both counties are considered frontier communities with shared values.
While a commissioner’s role is mainly to administer and oversee county operations, qualities of leadership and coalition building are invaluable for understanding and navigating complex relationships between and federal, state and local entities.
It was those skills that enabled me to successfully serve on the Northwest Council of Governments Executive Committee, the North Park Hospital District Board of Directors, the Early Childhood Council and various multi-jurisdictional rural healthcare coalitions. It was during this service I was able to help guide program and policy development within those organizations in a way that made rural community values paramount.
Since making Wray my home, I have strived to become an engaged and active member of the community. I was soon invited to attend a Wray 20/20 Community Development group meeting and found myself helping with the Behavioral Health Task Force in finding solutions to local behavioral health needs. Most recently, I was tapped to be the Eastern Plains Sportspersons Representative on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission and serve as the Commissioner Liaison to the State Trails Committee.
If elected, I would apply my executive leadership experience and diverse skill set to support the many interests and visions of the citizens of Yuma County. I understand as county commissioner, my primary role is to safeguard taxpayer dollars while ensuring that offices, departments and staff have the right resources to perform their duties and provide necessary services. In addition to this, I will focus my attention on the following key areas of interest:
Representation – I will focus my rural advocacy work on representing the interests of the citizens of Yuma County as well as eastern plains communities and rural Colorado. As county commissioner, I will be able to increase our voice and presence at the local, regional and state level while looking into collaborative ways to solve common issues.
Lifestyle Health – I will look at the long term health of our communities by assessing the various barriers to positive lifestyle health like population demographics and geography. I will help develop opportunities to provide activities and amenities that allow everyone to live their lives happy, healthy and here.
Cultural Exploration – I think that Yuma County has the potential to further develop the many existing arts, tourism, and outdoor recreation opportunities to the benefit of the local community and visitors. I also see the opportunity for us to export our rural culture by marketing secondary agricultural products, our family-friendly events, and laid back lifestyle to a much wider audience.
“My husband and I chose to move back to his hometown because we wanted to raise our family in an agricultural community and be able to maintain our outdoor lifestyle in a place that has strong schools and traditional values. I look forward to the opportunity to serve the citizens of Yuma County and assist them in allocating the necessary resources to make our shared vision of a bright and sustainable future a reality.

“Now, I would like to hear from you, Yuma County! Visit my website at and be sure to follow me on Facebook at Betsy-Blecha-For-Yuma-County. I can also be reached at [email protected] and 970-819-2848.”