MONTROSE COUNTY – Montrose resident Tom Wise announced his candidacy for Montrose County Commissioner at the Montrose Republican Central Committee on Thursday, Jan. 9. Wise said in a press release that he plans to focus on law, liberty, honesty and doing what's right for the citizens of Montrose County.
Wise seeks Montrose County’s District 2 County Commissioner seat, now held by Gary Ellis, who is term-limited.
Just off officiating a high school basketball game, Wise announced his candidacy, wearing his black-and-white-striped referee's uniform.
“I did not escape from jail,” he joked. “I officiated at the high school game against Grand Junction. It was a good game.
“Here's why I'm running. We live in a representative republic, so it's vitally important to step up and represent the citizens of the community. It's not convenient to serve, but it's worth it. I know commissioners take a lot of abuse from the press and around the dinner table, but again, I've decided that it's worth it.”
Wise, according to his announcement, grew up on a farm; his father held two jobs to make ends meet. He has a degree in business administration, and has worked for large and small businesses, including mom-and-pop businesses manufacturing materials for the automotive, computer chip and other industries. He built his own construction business, and says he understands what it takes to meet payroll and get things done, and understands the impact that taxes, fees and regulations have on everyone in the community.
In 1990, Wise and his wife, Connie, visited Montrose, where they soon found their next home.
“When we came over Red Mountain Pass and saw the beauty of this valley and the tight-knit nature of the community here, we fell in love with Montrose. I said, 'We need to live here,'” Wise said.
The couple sold everything they had to come to Montrose, bought a ranch and built up their herd to 60 cows.
“We worked hard to improve the pastures and the ranch,” Wise remarked of the business. He said he is a strong proponent of protecting Second Amendment rights. “I've been raised around guns. I have guns,” he said. “My grown kids have guns and I'm an avid outdoorsman….I will stand up to protect the citizens' rights to bear arms.”
Wise also believes that Montrose County must work to keep access open to Bureau of Land Management BLM lands. “I lease BLM land,” he said. “I want it to be able to be used. We like to take our 4-wheelers on the open roads and run our cattle. The BLM comes in saying they should close these roads. I will work to keep the roads open.”
Wise is a certified high school football referee and a Colorado High School Activities Assn.-certified basketball referee. He has worked for 18 years with children as a commander of the local Awana Children’s Ministry Club, helping children of all ages learn the benefits of implementing biblical principles into their lives, and is an instrument-rated pilot who owns a plane and a hangar at the Montrose Regional Airport,
“The airport is such a gem for our community and an economic driver. We need to make sure it thrives,” Wise said.