Loveland's Independent News Source
Ft. Collins Man To Challenge
Commissioner Johnson in Primary
Loveland - October 9, 2015

Eric Mokler, a 33 year-old Ft. Collins resident will challenge Larimer County Commissioner Steve
Johnson early next year for the Republican nomination to run for Larimer County Board of
Commissioners.  He has
already filed his candidacy with the Colorado Secretary of State.

Two of the three Larimer County Commissioners, Steve Johnson and Tom Donnelly, are up for
re-election next year.  Historically, county candidates announce at the beginning of the year before their
party caucus dates whether or not they will seek re-election.  Johnson told LovelandPolitics;

"I do plan to run and announce after the first of the year.  Its way too early now, people are focusing
on the upcoming November election.  The Commissioner election is a year from November.  Most
people I talk to think campaigns are already way too long."  

Commenting on Mokler's coming announcement to challenge Commissioner Johnson for being to
moderate, Johnson replied,

"I don't think anyone can paint this Board of County Commissioners as anything but being solidly
fiscally conservative."

Commissioner Donnelly along with Democratic challengers for each incumbent are also expected to
announce their candidacies at the beginning of next year as well.  Mokler intends to challenge Johnson
during the 2016 Republican Caucus on March 1 and again at the Larimer County Party Assembly
scheduled for March 19.  The primary election will be in the summer followed by the general election on
November 8, 2016.

Mokler's uncle, Jim Mokler, owns Realtec Downtown LLC, in Ft. Collins and is expected to financially
support his newphew's first run for public office.  Eric Mokler is a graduate of Ft. Collins High School and
Colorado State University where he studied business administration.  Online profiles of Mokler list his
only professional work experience as a managing partner of Crashway LLC in Ft. Collins.  
LovelandPolitics was unable to find a website for that company.   Mokler cancelled two scheduled
interviews with LovelandPolitics and failed to forward any biographical data when requested.

Mokler has already set-up a
campaign twitter account which he has been testing since late September.  
A self-described constitutionalist, Mokler's challenge of Republican Steve Johnson appears to be a
challenge of the more moderate Johnson who has been the target of some on the right especially during
his years serving in the Colorado State Senate.  Mokler has listed among his top Facebook friends State
House Minority leader
Mark Waller and Independence Institute head Jon Caldara.

While Mokler may have limited name identification and experience running for public office, he plans to
capture the more conservative wing of the Republican party in an attempt to oust incumbent
Republican Johnson.  One challenge for Mokler in courting social conservative will
be his previous
comments, while still a student at CSU in 2006, about the annual marijuana celebration labelled 4/12.  
Mokler stated in an interview with CSU's
Rocky Mountain Colleagian,

"Marijuana should be legal; obviously prohibition of marijuana is not working. It is, after all, God's
medicine.....Smoking doesn't make you cool. It is for personal enjoyment."

Larimer County Governance Issues

Another problem for Mokler is the county's excellent reputation for balancing budgets, limiting
spending and maintaining arguably the most efficiently run government when compared to the stormy
meetings of divided city councils, school boards, state legislature and certainly the U.S. Congress.

Larimer County Commissioners have passed, all on unanimous votes, arguably the most conservative
spending measures of any government in Larimer County if not the state.

According to current commissioners, they ended a tax early, rebated property taxes to the taxpayers,
built up the county's reserves even during times of unprecedented demands on them from natural
disasters.  In the past four years the discretionary reserves (not counting TABOR reserves) on the
County General Fund have grown from about $6 million to about $20 million and that is after
earmarking about $17 million of reserves to respond to and recover from the two worst natural
disasters in the history of the county.  

The county's reserve "rainy day fund" not only allows the county to respond to disasters, but also
enabled the Alternative Sentencing Building (ASU) for $11 Million to be constructed using no debt and
no bond financing.  Larimer County will also be building a new county services building adjacent to
Loveland's police and courts building with cash, and no debt or bonds.

Besides controlling spending, Larimer County Commissioners plan to adopt a voluntary mill levy rebate
on next year's property tax bill to return $2.5 million.  According to one commissioner, this is the first
time the commission ever voluntarily returned tax money.

Expect an announcement from Mokler regarding his reasons for seeking public office in the next few

Larimer County Commissioner
candidate Eric Mokler is a promoter of
Mark Levine's book "
The Liberty
Amendments" which proposes 10 new
amendments to the U.S. Constitutution.

In a review for Forbes Magazine of The
Liberty Amendments, Conservative
author David Davenport wrote,

"The fundamental problem with
reform is that it is more tinkering
than it is fixing.  As Thomas Carlyle

'To reform a world, to reform a
nation, no wise man will undertake;
and all but foolish men know, that
the only solid, though a far slower
reformation, is what each begins and
perfects on himself.”  We need
reform in our electorate and in our
leaders far more than we need 10
new amendments in the
Eric Mokler