Moffat County delegates help shape state primary ballot |

Moffat County delegates help shape state primary ballot

Brian Smith

Jeanie Durham said there are only two times she feels a vote counts.

The first, Durham said, happens when weighing in on a jury.

The second she exercised this weekend at the Republican State Assembly as part of a political race.

Durham was one of 17 Republican delegates from Moffat County to attend the state assembly Friday and Saturday in Loveland.

The state assembly gave Colorado a clearer picture of how its primary ballot will look in August. Delegates voted on candidates for U.S. Senate, governor, treasurer and secretary of state, among others.

Moffat County delegates also voted on candidates for Third Congressional District and Colorado House District 57.

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Candidates needed 30 percent of the delegate vote to be placed on the primary ballot.

In what some considered an upset, gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes, of Evergreen, received 16 more votes from delegates than Scott McInnis. Maes will receive the top line on the Republican primary ballot.

"For what I'm seeing, and I know how much my phone is ringing, I wasn't surprised personally, but the GOP was, and that was almost worth watching," said Durham, the chairwoman for Maes' Moffat County campaign.

Corrie Ponikvar, a Republican delegate who has been attending various assemblies since 1978, said she was surprised to hear Maes edged McInnis in delegate votes.

She said a two-candidate primary ballot will be a nice change from the usual party-picked single candidate, so voters can have more of a choice.

Maes visited Craig three times since announcing his candidacy for governor, most recently on May 18 and 19.

Durham credited his success at the assembly to his campaigning efforts in small communities like Craig.

"(McInnis) didn't show up, he doesn't return his phone calls and he doesn't return his letters to Northwest Colorado," she said.

Although both candidates will be on the primary ballot, Ponikvar said winning the delegate vote at the assembly gives candidates momentum.

She also said some voters take notice of who wins the delegate votes.

"The people who have been sitting back waiting to see what the outcome was, or to kind of help them decide who they want to support, they get that momentum," she said.

"It's going to be interesting to see how that goes this year."

Other races Moffat County Republican delegates voted on included the race for Third Congressional District, currently held by Rep. John Salazar, D-Colo.

Bob McConnell, a Steamboat Springs resident, received about 45 percent of the delegate vote. His opposing candidate, Scott Tipton, received about 54 percent of the delegate vote.

Colorado House District 57 Rep. Randy Baumgardner, R-Hot Sulphur Springs, received the uncontested GOP nomination for his re-election bid.

The Democratic Party also held its state assembly over the weekend. Four Moffat County democrats attended the assembly, one short of the five delegates originally slated to attend.

JoAnn Baxter, a longtime Democratic delegate, attended the assembly in support of Andrew Romanoff, a U.S. Senate candidate.

Baxter was happy to see Romanoff win the delegate vote over incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., but was torn on the issue of having two names on the primary ballot.

"You kind of hate to have the money spent on a primary when it is so important to win the election, but at the same time you do keep getting more publicity," she said.

Baxter was also happy to hear Democratic governor candidate John Hickenlooper speak during the assembly.

"He has run a good ship," she said referring to Hickenlooper's time as Denver's mayor. "I feel good about him being governor if he should get elected."

Steve Ivancie, a former Steamboat Springs City Council member, announced his candidacy for House District 57 at the state assembly. He will be running against Baumgardner and Mike Kien, an Oak Creek libertarian.

Baxter feels the Democrats should have a "better than even chance" in the statewide election.

"I think we have a real good slate of candidates," she said. "That is what I go down there to do is make sure we have the best people running for the offices."

Delegate vote results from weekend state assemblies


• Governor:

— Dan Maes, 1,741 votes or 49.35 percent

— Scott McInnis, 1,725 votes or 48.89 percent

• U.S. Senate:

— Ken Buck, 2,701 votes or 76.56 percent

— Cleve Tidwell, 522 votes or 14.08 percent (eliminated from primary)

— (Jane Norton is petitioning onto the ballot)

• State Treasurer:

— J.J. Ament, 2,788 votes, 79.02 percent

— Ali Hasan, 690 votes or 19.56 percent (eliminated from primary)

— (Walker Stapleton is petitioning onto the ballot)

• Third Congressional District:

— Scott Tipton, 336 votes or 54.45 percent

— Bob McConnell, 280 votes or 45.45 percent

• Colorado House District 57:

— Randy Baumgardner, single nomination


• Governor:

— John Hickenlooper, single nomination

• U.S. Senate:

— Andrew Romanoff, 2,156 votes or 60.4 percent

— Michael Bennet, 1,413 votes or 39.6 percent

• Treasurer:

— Cary Kennedy, single nomination

• Colorado House District 57:

— Steve Ivancie, single nomination

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