Incumbents fare well in New Castle, Silt elections
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
Silt and New Castle, the two western Garfield County towns that held municipal elections Tuesday, polled turnouts of about 25 percent, sending three candidates each to their respective town boards for the next four years.
Incumbent Sonny Fernandez polled the highest number of votes in the election, 177, to coast comfortably back onto the board.
Going with him will be newcomers Keith Richel, with 170, and Jeff LaValla, with 166 votes.
The fourth candidate, Leanne Richel, was narrowly edged out with 163 votes. She is the wife of winning candidate Keith Richel.
According to unofficial results released by the town, a total of 997 ballots were mailed out to voters, and 262 were returned, for a turnout of just over 26 percent.
“I want to thank the voters for their confidence in me,” said Fernandez. “Hopefully, the new members will make a good, strong team here, and we can move the town forward.”
Fernandez said he looks forward to working with the new board, and to hearing from the townspeople about issues of concern to them.
LaValla, who learned he had been elected when called by a reporter, said simply, “Thanks for the votes.”
He said he had no particular comment or agenda to pursue, beyond “getting up to speed” on how things work.
“We’ll see where we go from there,” LaValla added.
In New Castle as well, it was an incumbent, Patrick Stuckey, who polled the highest number of votes among the New Castle electorate, with 282 votes.
Robert Gordon, a former town council member and 63-year resident, came next with 258, followed by incumbent Mary Metzger with 248.
As in Silt, the fourth candidate, Merle Means, was also narrowly defeated after collecting 241 votes.
The turnout, with 398 ballots cast out of 1,555 active voters, came to 25 percent.
Stuckey said, “I’m happy to be back on the council. I just feel like there was a great group of people running, and any choice would have been a good choice.”
Metzger, reached by phone, offered thanks to the voters and said, “I’m looking forward to working with a new board.”
Gordon, reached at home as well, told the Post Independent, “I’m looking forward to getting started up again, and getting back into it.”
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