Garfield County strongly favored GOP in midterms |

Garfield County strongly favored GOP in midterms

John ColsonPost Independent staffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Garfield County’s voters veered strongly toward the Republican side of the political spectrum in November’s local election results, although they did not follow that trend exclusively.Garfield County Clerk & Recorder Jean Alberico, who ran unopposed in the recent election, released the formal canvass of votes at the end of November, showing how each precinct in the county voted.In the race for Garfield County Commissioner District 1, challenger Tom Jankovsky, manager and an owner of Ski Sunlight, defeated incumbent Democrat Trsi Houpt by a margin of 9,351-8,276.Houpt won 10 of the county’s 27 precincts. Her strength was centered, as expected, in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs, though she also won in the older part of New Castle, precinct 14.Jankovsky narrowly took Precinct 5, which encompasses Spring Valley, Aspen Glen west of the Roaring Fork River and the Iron Bridge and West Bank areas, by a margin of 476-465.Throughout the western portion of the county, Jankovsky won by healthy margins in every precinct.In the sheriff’s race, challenger Tom Dalessandri, a Democrat who lives in Carbondale, was the clear favorite in his home town and in most of Glenwood Springs.But incumbent Republican Lou Vallario won the Spring Valley’s Precinct 5 and nearly every other western precinct, with the exception of 15, the newest parts of New Castle.In at least one area, Precinct 2, which includes half of Battlement Mesa and Rulison, Vallario won by a margin of 3-1.In one of two local judicial retention questions, Ninth Judicial District Judge Gail Nichols pulled in 10,745 “yes” votes compared to 3,749 “no” votes, coming out on top in every single precinct.Garfield County Judge Paul Metzger also won retention easily, 11,511-3,369, with a victory in every precinct.In the broader political world, voters here went along with statewide election results in some key contests, but not in the race for Colorado’s U.S. Senate seat.In the Senate race, Garfield County as a whole gave Republican Ken Buck the edge over incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet, by a margin of 8,360 for Buck versus 7,953 for Bennet. Bennet narrowly won the election statewide, 799,072 to 783,426.While Carbondale and most of Glenwood Springs went resoundingly for Bennet, West Glenwood and most of the rest of the county gave Buck the race, although the old town center of New Castle went for Bennet by a margin of 102-83.But local voters stayed with the rest of the state in other contests, such as the race for Colorado’s next governor.According to the results for Garfield County, voters here apparently agreed with the statewide conclusion that Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper would make a good governor, giving him a resounding victory, 8,516 votes to only 3,208 for his Republican challenger, Dan Maes. Tom Tancredo, dubbed by statewide political observers the “spoiler” candidate for the American Constitution Party, also beat Maes with 5,745 votes.The canvass shows that Hickenlooper won in every precinct in Garfield County. In the race for U.S. Congressional District 3, incumbent Democrat John Salazar lost, but not by much.Challenger Scott Tipton, a Republican, came in with 8,880 of Garfield County’s total of 18,117 ballots cast, compared to 8,234 for Salazar.Just as with his fellow Democrats, Houpt and Dalessandri, Salazar’s strength was in Carbondale, Glenwood Springs and New Castle, against Tipton’s popularity in the remaining portions of the county.Look for further Election 2010 wrap up stories in next week’s Post Independent, including breakdowns of how the Garfield County electorate voted concerning medical marijuana and certain controversial proposed amendments to the Colorado

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