In a race that is often overlooked, a contentious battle is rising between two people trying to see who will be El Paso County’s next coroner.
The coroner’s duty is to investigate untimely deaths and assist the grieving family, as well as cooperate with law enforcement in any case where a person died. On Wednesday the candidates took the stage at the counties candidate forum to voice their platform and tell voters why they were the qualified person to fill the position.
Dr. Leon Kelly is board certified in anatomic, clinical and forensic pathology and has been a medical examiner in El Paso County for 10 years and Deputy Chief medical examiner the past 6 years. On stage Kelly made the following remarks:
It’s an important job because that information is critical to the family of the person who’s died, our law enforcement and district attorney who have to figure out if someone is at fault, and our public health officials and local media, who would help to ensure the rest of us are healthy and safe. It requires advanced knowledge of Forensic science and medicine. And we’ve been very fortunate in El Paso County to only have board certified Forensic Pathologist as elected coroners since the 1960s.
His opponent is Army retired veteran Chauncey Frederick, who served at Fort Carson. Frederick said he never thought he’d be involved in politics but he served his country in the army and wanted to serve the county. On stage he stated:
I’m a regular Joe Shmoe. I don’t have all these super degrees like a lot of people have, but I am willing to get out and do the hard work. And I’ve been in the military, I do have leadership. I know how to be a leader. I know how to get out in front of the people. Let the people know what’s going on in the public, what’s going on with their family member; the data and all the research that need to be done, to get these people, let them understand what’s going on in the county. And what the biggest things I can see that I’m going to try and work on.
Ballots will be sent out to voters on Monday.