Local, Proven Leadership 

Why I'm Running... 

I want to use my skills in bringing people together and finding common ground to

make our great county an even better place to live. Together, we face complex challenges:

rapid growth, a changing economy, a distinct "urban/rural" divide, drought and more.

We need a leader with a proven track record in getting things done. 

I know what it takes to create results. For 26 years, as a professional with skills in mediation,

listening and leadership, I have worked hard to help groups craft solutions across topics

such as water, land use, forest health, transportation, health care, human services, rural

economic development: topics this county deals with every day. 

Our county's diversity is what makes it so unique and special. I am a 4th generation

Southwest Coloradoan having grown up on a ranch in Lewis, north of Cortez. 

This rural background taught me the value of hard work, the importance of community, and a

love of landscapes. So, working together isn't some campaign promise. It is who I am

as a person and as a professional. 

I will work hard. And, as someone who has run my own business for18 years and started a

regional nonprofit before that, I know what it takes to piece things together. I know it's hard

to make a living here. That is why I'm ready to roll up my sleeves and work for everyone


Our priorities

I have done 40 listening sessions and here is what I will work for. My vision but our priorities:  


Grow an Economy that works across La Plata County

​We need to grow and bring good jobs to La Plata County to improve quality of life for everyone.

People define a "good job" in many ways. I define it as a job that contributes to a good quality of life,

and well-being for families of many kinds. 

​Provide Adequate & Excellent County Services  

We must plan for adequate County Government service delivery including taking care of

our Roads and Bridges as a priority. This will take resources to address a growing population.

We can also streamline County Planning honoring the hard work of the District Land Use Groups. 

We must use tax dollars wisely and make the case to voters for any future revenue questions. 


Ensure more Affordable/Attainable Housing

Many in the workforce, young people and seniors on fixed incomes are getting priced out. 

We need to put more tools in our tool kit. We can do more and should.  


Increase Safety and Respond to a Changing Climate 

Southwest Colorado is getting hotter and drier impacting everyone. We need to continue the

good works happening such making permanent a weather radar system. We need to increase

our capacity to respond to droughts, beetle kill, wildfires and flooding. We also need to encourage

projects that address forest health since that is where our water comes from, and, our forests 

are a significant economic and recreational driver.  


Be the model for Modern/Clean Energy on the Western Slope 

Our society is moving to renewable energy quickly as the cost comes down and many have a desire to

reduce carbon. We could become the leader among all Western Slope communities while

recognizing a need for energy reliability and diversity. Can we move the energy conversation

to growing good jobs and being a model for modern/clean technology(ies)?  How can we involve 

all sectors?  This is a very complex and controversial topic, and, I am learning more.   


Take care of our Land, Air and Water and Balance Interests/Needs

Private and public lands, water and landscapes are valued by all. There are many needs and interests involved in finding practical solutions.

As with all issues, I will do my homework and balance perspectives. 

Work to Bridge the "Urban/Rural Divide"  

Our county is very diverse but we're all in this together. Too often, geographic or political differences or a lack of understanding get in the                  way of problem solving. I will build bridges because that is how we move forward. 

                                                             What are Your Ideas, Your Concerns, Your Solutions? 

Listen and Leading for La Plata County 

Marsha Porter-Norton, Democrat for La Plata County Commissioner, 2020 


Current County Commissioners

Commissioner Julie Westendorf

Commission Gwen Lachelt

Commissioner Clyde Church

Former County Commissioners 

Josh Joswick

Wally White

Bob Lieb

Former City of Durango City Councilors

Christina Rinderle

Sweetie Marbury 

Dick White


Besty Adams

Kathleen Adams 

Pattie Adler

Sally Bellerue

Buzz Bricca

Nick Brothers 

Tammy Burden

Ken and Lois Carpenter 

Paulette Church 

Margaret Cozine

Alice Crapo 

Libby Culver

Barbara and Bill Dodds 

Larry Eads 

Matha Elbert

Wanda Ellingson

Ken and Susie Francis

Tami Graham

Laura Godfrey 

Sheryl Guy 

Tara Kiene 

Marilyn Leftwich 

Frank Lockwood 

Laura Lewis Marchino 

Stephanie Moran 

Jackie Morlan

Lynne Murison

Missy Rodey 

Stephens (Steve) Parker 

Steve and Deb Ruddell

Janice Scheftel

Pat Senecal

Kate Shelton 

Nancy and Robert Shanks 

MaryKay Shellman

Jon and Kathy Sherer 

Buck Skillen 

Jigger and Paul Staby

Ellen Stein

Mark Swanson 

Karen Thompson 

Bill and Chris Warren

John Whitney 

Cheryl Wiescamp



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©  Paid for by :  "Marsha for Commissioner."  Marsha Porter-Norton registered agent.  2019.                                 All Rights Reserved.