GOP seeks new HD44 candidate

Seven party leaders to select replacement for Jack Hilbert

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Douglas County’s GOP brass is working quickly to select a replacement candidate in the race for House District 44.

Three members of the HD44 Republican Committee and three voting members of the Douglas County GOP executive team were scheduled to interview interested parties July 19 at the Robert A. Christensen Justice Center in Castle Rock.

Jack Hilbert, who most recently served as Douglas County commissioner and won the Republican primary in June to represent House District 44 in the general election, withdrew his name as the sole candidate July 13 after accepting a position as Child Welfare Hotline System manager with the Colorado Department of Human Services’ Child Welfare Protection Division.

Five people — Debbie Lewis, Donald Parrot, Kim Ransom, Debbie Cohen and Kim Monson — have expressed interest in the position and will each have three minutes to deliver an introduction speech to the selection committee July 19. Committee members will then ask questions, and the answers must be no longer than two minutes each, according to the Douglas County GOP’s website.

A replacement candidate will be picked immediately following the interviews, said Terry Dodd, vice chairman of the HD44 Republican Committee, a panel that doubles as the vacancy committee.

“Until we get four votes (for one candidate), we’ll just have to keep voting,” Dodd said.

That person will represent the Republican Party in November against Democrat Karen Smith and Libertarian Lily Williams.

House District 44 encompasses Parker, Lone Tree and parts of unincorporated Douglas County.

The seven Republican party leaders who will select the HD44 candidate are: House District 44 Rep. Chris Holbert; HD44 Republican Committee chairman Bob Tate; Dodd, HD44 committee vice chairman; Ransom, the HD44 committee secretary; Douglas County GOP Chairman Craig Steiner; Douglas County GOP Vice Chairperson Tanne Blackburn; and Douglas County GOP Secretary Andrew Barnett.

Ransom has agreed to recuse herself from the selection process since she is being considered for the vacancy, according to the website.