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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Many Realtor Association-Endorsed Candidates, Including Casey Tighe, Won

[Published Nov. 29, 2012, in the Denver Post and in four Jefferson County weekly newspapers]

Each election, the local Realtor association — in our case the Denver Metro Association of Realtors (DMAR) — interviews candidates for local offices and will not only endorse but also, in some cases, make campaign contributions. DMAR also endorses and opposes ballot issues.

This year, DMAR endorsed Rep. Ed Perlmutter in his highly contested re-election bid, and he won handily over Republican Joe Coors. DMAR also endorsed RTD director Matt Cohen (himself a Realtor), but Matt lost by 1/2 percent to an anti-RTD candidate, Natalie Menten, which should make for some interesting board meetings. Realtor associations have traditionally been very supportive of light rail and mass transit, investing much money in passing FasTracks, for example,

DMAR also traditionally supports educational taxes such as 3A and 3B, which it supported again this year — successfully — in both Denver and Jefferson County.  Realtors know that good transit and good public education help to maintain and raise property values.

And, most dramatically, DMAR endorsed Casey Tighe in his race against incumbent County Commissioner John Odom.  Tighe eked out a margin of less than 0.5%, and only after the provisional ballots were counted. His victory is interesting, because DMAR supports “completion” of the Beltway, and Odom, like the other two current commissioners, was a big proponent of the Beltway, going so far as to attempt a legislative override of home-rule cities’ opposition to highway construction, which backfired badly on the commissioners back in April.  (I wrote about that effort in this column.)

Tighe did not make opposition to the Beltway an issue, but he is not a proponent of it and will bring a degree of open-mindedness to what is largely a development boondoggle funded by the county.

DMAR was pre-empted by the state Realtor association in the endorsement of state legislators. The Colorado Association of Realtors (CAR) was successful in its endorsement of several Jeffco legislators, including Sue Schafer, Cheri Gerou, and Libby Szabo, but failed in its endorsement of others, including candy magnate Rick Enstrom against incumbent Max Tyler. I’m not in Max’s district, but I have great respect for the quality of his work and devotion to his job. I have no idea why CAR would have opposed him. Realtor endorsements are supposed to be based on support for Realtor issues such as property rights, protection of the mortgage interest deduction, etc. Max supports these.

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