Arapahoe County Clerk and Recorder Nancy Doty tried to garner a little luck of the Irish at her St. Patrick’s Day campaign kick-off on March 17 at …
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Arapahoe County Clerk and Recorder Nancy Doty tried to garner a
little luck of the Irish at her St. Patrick’s Day campaign kick-off
on March 17 at Heather Ridge Country Club in Aurora.
The renamed “Nancy O’Doty” hosted a virtual who’s who of
green-clad Arapahoe County Republicans at the event, which boasted
live music, beer and corned-beef sandwiches.
“I said, I don’t want another wine-and-cheese party. They’re so
boring,” Doty told the room, before cutting the rug — again, and
Officials there to wish the clerk luck included County
Commissioner Susan Beckman, Centennial Mayor Cathy Noon and
Greenwood Village Mayor Nancy Sharpe.
Doty, a certified public accountant with a background in
banking, is seeking her second full four-year term running the
office that oversees county elections, vehicle registrations and
various record-keeping functions.
Although most citizens do not think much about the functionary
roles of the clerk’s office, many of the county’s voters and
vehicle owners have come to recognize Doty’s name on return
“We actually pretty much touch everyone in the county with my
office, either through elections or motor vehicle” she told
supporters. “… People say, ‘oh, you’re Nancy Doty. You’re the one I
write that check to.’”
The Republican touted her first-term decision to not spend $5
million on new voting equipment, an idea that had been promoted by
her controversial predecessor.
“I’m a fiscal conservative and some of my staff say I’m kind of
cheap,” she joked for the room. “… That’s the number-one part for
me. So rest assured, I don’t spend your money unwisely.”
Doty’s decision to seek re-election came after she had flirted
with running for Colorado secretary of state. The official says
pragmatism caught up with that idea.
“I don’t think that office is conducive to a primary,” she told
Colorado Community Newspapers. “If there’s a primary, it’d be
difficult to win a general election. There’s not enough money.”
Doty, 64, was first elected clerk in a 2004 special election.
She replaced Republican Tracy Baker, who had been removed from
office in a recall election — the result of highly publicized
finance and sex scandals.
The new clerk was widely credited — across party lines — for
turning the office around, improving morale, revamping procedures
and returning dignity to the beleaguered clerk position after
“The office was in disarray when I took over, and it’s running
very, very well right now,” Doty said. “The office is very well
respected. My staff says they love their jobs and I don’t think
that was the situation six years ago.”
Doty, a onetime Republican precinct leader, has state government
experience. She served under Gov. Bill Owens as Colorado’s chief
financial officer. Although she was well versed in record keeping,
she had no background in other major areas of the clerk and
recorder’s functions before seeking the county nod.
“I have a lot of management and auditing experience. I didn’t
have any experience in elections or motor vehicles,” she said. “But
I really believed I could come in and run it as a business.”
If re-elected, Doty plans to keep a close eye on the Colorado
General Assembly as state legislators consider changes to the
state’s election laws.
She opposes the idea of Election Day voter registration, saying
it would be prone to fraud, but would support an all-mail statewide
system, which, she says, would not.
“We know that ballot was sent to you,” Doty said of the process.
“When that ballot comes back, we know you sent it back. We then
verify the signature to make sure you voted that ballot.”
It is unclear how changing politics in Arapahoe County and
elsewhere will affect the race for clerk. A Democrat has not yet
emerged to challenge Doty in the once GOP-safe county that now
boasts more Democrats than Republicans. Doty is not taking anything
“A lot can happen between now and November,” she said. “I think
people are upset. That’s evidenced by the tea-party people. The
Democrats could turn it around for themselves, but right now they
may be going in the wrong direction.”
The clerk received applause when she announced she had joined
the National Rifle Association.
Doty, who has vestiges of a Wisconsin accent, was raised on a
dairy farm. She says the hard work of her childhood was an
important part of her development — and not just for her government
jobs. Doty spent two grueling years in Bolivia and in the Amazon
rainforests with her first husband, a geologist.
“It was horrible,” she said. “We were the only Americans. I had
to learn the language. I washed our clothes by hand. My son liked
peanut butter so I made our own. Then I filtered the water. I made
ice cream. I made bread every other day.”
Geology eventually took the Dotys to Colorado, where she raised
her two children in Arapahoe County. The Centennial resident,
widowed during her second marriage, is a grandmother of two.
Doty has never been tempted to reutilize her rustic homemaking
skills since relocating from South America to the Denver
“I don’t have to,” she joked. “I run elections now.”
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