During her campaign for Elbert County commissioner, Kelly Dore espoused her vision of limited local government providing efficient services, and promoted five points that she believes “intrinsically connect,” including fiscal discipline, smart economic growth, water, energy cooperation, and a diverse economic strategy.
On Jan. 13, Dore will have her opportunity to apply these beliefs when she is sworn in as Elbert County commissioner for District 2, taking over the seat being vacated by Kurt Schlegel, who chose not to stand for re-election at the end of his first four-year term.
Nominated along with Mike Hettinga at the Elbert County Republican Assembly in late March, Dore was set for a primary battle when Hettinga suddenly pulled out of the race, citing an out-of-state move. With the nomination in hand, Dore went on to win the general election in November by gaining nearly two-thirds of the vote over Independent candidate John Dorman.
Since her victory in November, Dore has been working with the three current commissioners on the transition as well as attending training seminars, participating in group sessions with other commissioners, and getting better acquainted with county department heads and employees.
“At times it can be like drinking from a fire hose,” Dore said. “I am thankful to have a strong support system and thankful for the hard-working people behind the scenes who make the county run day to day.”
At home, Dore is thankful for the two people she refers to as her “constant rocks,” her husband Tim and her mother.
“My husband has taught me what it is to be a statesman, not a politician, and how to be genuine in all you do.”
It should not be a surprise if the name Tim Dore sounds familiar. Tim serves as the state House representative for District 64 and will be returning to Denver for a second term in January. He sits on the appropriations, local government, and veterans and military affairs committees.
Kelly and Tim are the parents of four children, Andrew, 14, who attends Elizabeth Middle School, and Alyssa, 11, Aiden, 9, and Jack, 6, who attend Legacy Academy.
In addition to the reinforcement she gets from her husband, Dore says that she gains her strength from her mother who serves as her sounding board and gives her balance. Her mother once told her, “You have not lived until you can do something for someone who can never repay you.”
“She and I have had a long road with many obstacles to overcome in this life, but my mom has always emerged stronger and more graceful in all she has been through,” Dore says. “I am proud to be her daughter. I hope that I can be half the mother to my children that she has been to me.”
Following the vein of her mother’s wisdom has served as a lesson in faith, guided her moral foundation, and led to her greatest reward, her passion for helping people succeed and build the life they were meant to live.
“We choose who we want to be and what we stand for; our actions speak louder than any words,” Dore said. “I’ve found that nothing matters unless we have a mutual respect for life in general. This includes all of God’s creation and knowing that we are stewards of each other.”
Some people refer to a particular strength or ability they possess as a superpower and when asked what her superpower might be, her sons Andrew and Aiden insisted that she answer either with flying or X-ray vision. Though not quite X-ray vision, Dore says that she has uncanny intuition and empathy.
Before deciding to run for public office, Dore ran a counseling practice and a foundation that helped open two schools (the latest scheduled for early 2015), a hospital, and two homes for orphaned children. She believes in empowering people through hope and education as well as access to health care and enough food to eat.
“This does not mean giving handouts to people,” she said. “It means giving them a hand up and a sense of appreciation for their own lives.”
As a commissioner, she plans to use her business sense and foundation experience to help the county structure successful business practices, encourage citizens to help each other, and foster a sense of community.
“I have a basic commonsense approach and am a calm person in general, so I think this will help me to be effective in dealing with citizens and my fellow commissioners,” she said.