Ballots still to count in tight New Castle race
While New Castle voters want to see four more years of Scott Owens and Bruce Leland on the town’s council, the final determination for a third seat will have to wait.
Owens and Leland secured the most votes in Tuesday’s mail ballot election, with 385 and 361 votes, respectively.
Meanwhile, two candidates without any prior town council experience, Brandy Copeland and Joe Urnise, were locked in a tight race with several ballots still to be cured and counted. The three candidates with the most votes are to be elected to the town council.
According to the unofficial results released Tuesday night, Copeland had 322 votes to 321 for Urnise.
New Castle Town Clerk Melody Harrison said the town has eight ballots with challenged signatures, and six military and overseas voters with ballots that are still out. On top of those 14 ballots, an additional 14 ballots were held to ensure voter anonymity, leaving potentially 28 more ballots still to count.
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Harrison said voters will not know the official results until April 13 at the earliest, when the ballots are to be canvassed.
“I thought it might be tight, but I’m shocked. I did not think I would win,” Copeland said after hearing the news.
She said that she wanted to wait until the results are official before she starts doing any celebrating.
With a 64-vote margin between Owens and Urnise, it appears New Castle voters were content with seeing any of the four candidates on the board for the next four years.
“There was not much arguing between us,” Copeland added.
Leland has served on the town council since 2006 while Owens joined two years ago. Copeland currently serves on the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission.
Mayor Art Riddile, running unopposed in the election, was re-elected to a second term with 443 votes.
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Aspen Glen residents and other speakers at a public hearing lobbied the Garfield County commissioners to keep a protective buffer in place on about 25 acres of the golf club to protect wildlife. No decision was reached.