Pueblo, Colorado

  • Interviews By
  • Allison Sherry
  • Photos By
  • Alex Scoville
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Pueblo Politicians 1
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Zach Swearingen, the Republican candidate for Pueblo County Commissioner, stands outside the Old Chicago restaurant his campaign team is holding a dinner meeting at on Thursday, Aug. 30. The former marine is a Pueblo native who returned after his tours of service and opened a shooting range. Swearingen, like many Pueblo natives, is tired of the city being ignored against Colorado Springs and Denver. "Don't turn your nose up as Pueblo," he said. "We have so much potential."

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A stack of New Yorker magazines and Palisade peaches on Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder Gilbert “Bo” Ortiz’s desk, Friday, Aug. 31.

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Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder Gilbert “Bo” Ortiz in his office, Friday, Aug. 31. The long-serving Democrat comes from a family of steelworkers, a common lineage in the union town. Ortiz was surprised that Pueblo County went red in the 2016 presidential election, despite the city of Pueblo's "blue dog" Democrat beliefs. He pins Donald Trump's success here to the focus on steelworking jobs during the campaign, and the diminishing returns from national Democrats on labor.

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Cheerleaders donned in the green and yellow colors of Pueblo County High School perform against cheerleaders from their rival high school, Pueblo West, at a pep rally in the Pueblo County Courthouse on Friday Aug. 31. That day marked the first Friday night varsity football games of the school year in the city. Pueblo holds some of the longest-running high school rivalries in Colorado.

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Chris Wiseman, the Democratic candidate for Pueblo County Commissioner and Zach Swearingen’s opponent, mans the Democratic booth at the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo on Friday, Aug. 31. Wiseman said he and Swearingen have a cordial relationship, even swapping stories and tips about raising twins.

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A crowd gathers at the Republican Party booth at the Colorado State Fair on Friday, Aug. 31. Pueblo County voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election, the first time the county has swung for the Republican presidential candidate since Nixon in 1972. Pueblo County Republican Party Chairperson Marla Spinuzzi Reichert attributes the shift to people voting for their families, and Trump’s platform supporting those values.

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Pueblo County Republican Party Chairperson Marla Spinuzzi Reichert helps man the Republican Party booth at the Colorado State Fair on Friday, Aug. 31. The Pueblo native started volunteering during the 2016 election, and is accredited by many local Republican officials for helping turn the county red that year. Reichert was elected chairperson shortly after Trump’s nomination. "The old school Democrats in Pueblo really do have more traditional and conservative values," she said. "The Democrat Party I think left them behind with their complete jump to the extreme left."

Colorado State Fair 1
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Lisa Kerb tidies up after her dairy cows, which are up for judging at the Colorado State Fair, on Friday, Aug. 31. Her family traveled from Kerb's Dairy in Weld County to show their cattle.

Colorado State Fair 2
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Brandon Kerb stands by as a machine milks one of his family's dairy cows Friday, Aug. 31. His parents own Kerb’s Dairy in Weld County, and had traveled to Pueblo to compete in the Colorado State Fair. Preparing dairy cows for judging is a difficult balance, as higher points are awarded to cattle with larger udders, but leaving a cow unmilked for too long causes them discomfort.

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Children lead a miniature Zebu cattle around during a competition for the specialty breed at the Colorado State Fair on Friday, Aug. 31.

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Colorado State Fair attendees stop to pet a cow on display outside the Livestock Pavilion on Friday, Aug. 31.

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Calves sleep outside the Livestock Pavilion at the Colorado State Fair on Friday, Aug. 31.

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A t-shirt celebrating the 85th anniversary of the Eiler’s Place bar and a commemorative license plate on the wall, Friday, Aug. 31. Eiler’s is a historically Slovenian and union steelworkers’ bar. It was the second bar in Pueblo to receive a liquor permit after Prohibition was repealed, but the first to open.

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A bartender rings in an order at Eiler’s Place on Friday, Aug. 31. She's been a bartender here for 13 years. "I've seen a lot, sweetie," she laughed. "Once you start coming in, we're friends, we're family, we watch each other kids grow up."

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Jay Yacconi enjoys a few rounds at Eiler’s Place on Friday, Aug. 31. Yacconi works as a contractor, and while the Pueblo native doesn’t agree with President Donald Trump’s style of tweeting, he can’t deny how well his business has done since the election. He voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012 before turning to Trump in 2016.

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