County sees red on Election Day
While voters watched the country spout red all over the television map on election night, Garfield County had its own crimson tide. Republicans came out on top in the county, but there were some notable pockets of blue. Election results by precinct revealed some surprises but overall upheld the conventional wisdom that voters are loyal liberals in Carbondale and die-hard Republicans from New Castle west.In the race for county commissioner in District 2 (Glenwood Springs), if it had been up to the voters in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs, Democrat Greg Jeung would have unseated Republican incumbent John Martin. Voters across the county vote for candidates in all three commissioner districts. Although he did not win the vote in his hometown of Glenwood Springs, Martin’s lead solidified in the precincts in western Garfield County.The swing from Jeung to Martin happened in New Castle.In Precinct 14, New Castle Town Hall, voters favored Jeung over Martin, 111 votes to 86. But just across the street at the New Castle Community Center, Precinct 15, the voters gave Martin 345 votes and Jeung 292.Rifle, Parachute and Battlement Mesa solidly backed Martin.It was the same story in the race for county commissioner from District 3 (Rifle) between two Rifle men, Republican incumbent Larry McCown and Rifle Mayor Keith Lambert, a Democrat.Lambert had a commanding lead over McCown in the Carbondale precincts, but that began to evaporate in Glenwood Springs, where the vote went back and forth between the two.Once again, at Precinct 15, which saw heavy voter turnout on Election Night, McCown pulled ahead of Lambert, 360 votes to 263. From New Castle west, voters came out for McCown.Some speculation during the election focused on a backlash vote against Lambert, not because voters believed he wasn’t fit for the commissioner seat, but because he is such a popular mayor in Rifle. That speculation was not immediately apparent from the Rifle breakdown, but the only precinct in which McCown had a commanding lead in Rifle was in Precinct 22, where he received 273 votes to Lambert’s 190. In Precinct 21, McCown led Lambert, 190 votes to 160. However, at Rifle Middle School, Precinct 23, Lambert won with 156 votes over McCown’s 142.McCown’s mandate was even stronger in Parachute and Battlement Mesa. At Precinct 27 in Battlement Mesa, there were 272 votes cast for McCown and 136 for Lambert. The liberal-conservative split in Garfield County was nowhere more apparent than in the voting results for president.In all Carbondale precincts, John Kerry won handily over George Bush. For example, in Precinct 2, Kerry won 436 votes and Bush 253. Moving north on Highway 82 to Precinct 5 in Glenwood Springs, the race turned red, with Bush taking a narrow lead over Kerry, 189-180.Kerry pulled ahead again in Precinct 6, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in downtown Glenwood Springs, with 154 votes to Bush’s 121. Blue continued to vie with red through the precincts in Glenwood Springs. But again, tradition held out as county voters showed their Republican colors on the west side of Glenwood. In Precinct 12 in West Glenwood, Bush pulled ahead with 195 votes to Kerry’s 178. His lead got stronger in New Castle. At Precinct 15, Bush won 393 votes and Kerry 259.Rifle and Parachute voters came out overwhelmingly for Bush, with the biggest spread at Precinct 22 in the heart of Rifle, where Bush received 326 votes and Kerry 148.Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. email@example.com
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