Moffat County 2014 Election results favor Republicans
County votes 'no' on pot cultivation
Moffat County’s election office bustled with voters turning in last-minute ballots up until 7 p.m. Tuesday when the doors closed.
“I think we’ve done almost 1,000 today,” said Amanda Tomlinson, elections office assistant.
Less than three quarters of Moffat County’s active voters, or 72.7 percent, cast 4,959 ballots out of the more than 6,900 mailed out by 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Republicans came out strong for change in Colorado, giving the nod for a new U.S. senator. Although the final count wasn’t finalized at the time of press, Republican Bob Beauprez was barely ahead of Democrat incumbent John Hickenlooper. Locally, Beauprez won the hearts of Moffat County voters, taking 77.7 percent of the local gubernatorial votes.
And, like past elections in Moffat County, locals said “no” once again to a marijuana initiative.
All seven of the Moffat County official races were unopposed, making the state and national races the nail biters for Craig residents.
Here’s a closer look at Election Day 2014:
Gardner takes U.S. Senate
Rep. Cory Gardner took Colorado’s Senate seat from Democrat Sen. Mark Udall, gaining 50 percent of the vote over Udall’s 44 percent statewide.
Moffat County voters helped make that happen, with 3,724 of Gardner’s 797,399 votes coming from the county. Only 826 votes were cast for Udall in Moffat County, and 689,302 votes were cast for Udall in Colorado overall.
“I say we can fix this nation’s problems together,” Gardner said in his victory speech. “We can achieve energy indepence together, and we can protect our environment together. What is happening in Washington isn’t working, and it has to get better.”
Roughly 76 percent of Moffat County’s Senate votes went to Gardner, while 17 percent went to Udall.
“Obviously I’m disappointed, but it’ll be interesting to see whether he can make the kind of difference that people in Colorado want,” said Jo Ann Baxter, chair of Moffat County Democrats. “We can hope for that.”
Local Republicans rejoiced over the news.
“Cory Gardner is a genuine good man who will represent Colorado well in the U.S. Senate,” said Brandi Meek, chair of the Moffat County Republicans.
Gubernatorial race still undecided
With 88 percent of precincts reporting, the Colorado gubernatorial race remained as close as predicted and was too close to call.
Gov. Hickenlooper had 47.65 percent of the vote and Beauprez had 47.95 percent of the votes statewide.
In Moffat County, voters supported Beauprez with 3,791 votes and 77.72 percent of the vote. Only 17.49 percent, or 853 people in Moffat County, voted for Hickenlooper.
Scott Tipton wins Congress District 3 seat
Incumbent Republican Scott Tipton was able to keep his seat in Congress and gained 59.2 percent, or 150,372 votes, statewide overall. His main competitor, Democrat Abel Tapia, received 35 percent of the vote, or 88,105 votes.
“I could not have been re-elected to Congress without your dedication and hard work,” Tipton said in a statement Tuesday night. “I am so thankful to our supporters across the 3rd Congressional District. I know that Republicans are only successful with tremendous grassroots support, and each of you stepped up and provided exactly that.”
In Moffat County, voters aligned with Tipton, casting 4,003 votes for him and giving him 82.62 percent of the county’s vote. Tapia received 570 votes, or 11.75 percent.
Together, libertarian and unaffiliated candidates received just more than 5 percent of the vote in Moffat County.
Tipton has served Colorado’s District 3 in the U.S. House of Representatives twice, elected first in 2010 and again in 2012.
District 3 encompasses Pueblo, Grand Junction, Durango and the Western Slope.
Before becoming a U.S. representative, Tipton was in the Colorado House of Representatives representing the 58th District for two years.
During his two years as a state representative and four years in the U.S. House, Tipton has worked on water quality, air quality and child protection through legislation mandating stricter punishments for child sex-offenders and allowing law enforcement to collect DNA from suspects.
Wayne Williams wins secretary of state seat
Republican Wayne Williams won Tuesday night, ahead by about 7 percent of the vote, beating Democrat Joe Neguse, who logged only 43 percent of voters support.
Williams was Moffat County’s primary choice, gaining 73.1 percent of the vote, or 3,480 votes, here. Neguse gained 821, or 17.2 percent.
American Constitution candidate Amanda Campbell received 317, or 6.7 percent of the vote, while Libertarian Dave Schambach had 143 votes, or 3 percent of the vote.
Current Secretary of State Scott Gessler did not run for re-election. He began his term Jan. 11, 2011. Bob Beauprez defeated Gessler in the Republican primary for governor.
Stapleton holds on to state treasurer seat
Incumbent Walker Stapleton won Colorado’s treasurer race, with 837,358 votes, tallying 52 percent of the vote. Betsy Markey received 702,614 votes, at 43 percent.
Stapleton also led in Moffat County, gaining 74.4 percent of the vote with 3,505 votes. Markey had 947 votes, or 20.1 percent of Moffat County’s vote.
Underdog David Jurist received just more than 5 percent of the county’s vote with 258 votes.
According to the Colorado Department of Treasury’s website, the treasurer is responsible for taxpayer funds:
“The Colorado state treasury is the constitutional custodian of the public’s funds. It is the Treasury’s duty to manage and account for the citizen’s tax dollars from the time they are received until the time they are disbursed. The treasury’s staff is committed to safeguarding and managing the people’s monies with the same diligence and care as they do their own.”
Cynthia Coffman wins attorney general race
Cynthia Coffman won the Colorado attorney general seat by gaining 866,584 votes, or 54 percent, while Don Quick, Democratic runner-up, had 648,353 votes, or 40 percent.
Coffman won over Moffat County voters and had 78.8 percent of votes, with 3,730 votes. Quick had 15 percent of the vote, or 710 votes.
Libertarian David K. Williams had more than 6 percent of the vote with 295 votes.
Republican incumbent and 37th Attorney General John Suthers is term-limited and could not run for a third term.
Switching up his political career, Suthers is running for Colorado Springs mayor in 2015 against El Paso County Commissioner Amy Lathen.
According to the National Association of attorneys general’s description of the job: “as the chief legal officer of the states, commonwealths and territories of the United States, the attorneys general serve as counselors to their legislatures and state agencies and also as the ‘People’s Lawyer’ for all citizens.”
The Colorado attorney general serves a four-year term.
State Board of Education, District 3
Colorado’s State Board of Education “provides general supervision of public schools” and its duties are described in Title 22 of the Colorado Revised Statutes.
GOP candidate and incumbent Marcia Neal won at 57.3 percent, while Democratic opponent Henry Roman logged 43 percent statewide.
Roman had 793 votes, or 17.4 percent, in Moffat County, and Neal had 3,763, or 82.6 percent.
Rankin wins 2nd term over Sacha Mero
Republican Rep. Bob Rankin won a second term to represent District 57 in Colorado’s House of Representatives. Rankin won against Craig Libertarian Sacha Mero.
Rankin, who represents House District 57, encompassing Garfield, Moffat and Rio Blanco counties, won 89 percent of the votes, while only 11 percent of voters favored Mero statewide.
Moffat County overwhelmingly supported Rankin with 88.6 percent, or 4,044 votes, of the county’s vote going his way, and 8.1 percent, or 520 votes, going to Mero.
During his first term as legislator, Rankin has served on several committees and boards, including positions with the Joint Technology Committee and the Colorado Tourism Board.
He also has served on the Colorado General Assembly Joint Budget Committee.
Amendment 67 fails
Colorado’s personhood initiative did not pass statewide or in Moffat County.
Coloradans voted it down with 64 percent. Moffat County voted against it with 56.7 percent of the vote, or 2,716 votes. Less than 1,000 votes separated Moffat County’s decision, with 2,076 or 43.3 percent of votes cast in favor of the measure.
Amendment 68 sinks
The gambling initiative on Colorado’s ballot also failed in Colorado and overwhelmingly in Moffat County.
Colorado residents said “no” with 72 percent, while 28 percent were willing to give it a chance.
But this was not the case in Moffat County; residents conveyed a resounding “no” message on the measure, casting 3,413, or 70.3 percent, of votes against it. Only 28.7 percent, or 1,440, of voters cast “yes” votes.
Coloradans vote ‘yes’ on Proposition 104
Coloradans want to know what’s going on inside of school board meetings, according to results from Tuesday night’s Proposition 104 ballot question results.
Statewide, 69.6 percent voters supported the measure. Moffat County agreed with other voters in the state and cast 3,336 votes, or 70.1 percent of votes, in support of open school board meetings.
Proposition 104 will “require that local school boards or their representatives negotiate collective bargaining agreements in open meetings.”
According to the Colorado Open Records Act, “Any meeting at which a state or local governmental body discusses public business or takes formal action must be open to the public, with certain exceptions.”
Such exceptions can include personnel issues, security information or real estate transactions. In these cases, the body may call an executive session.
A collective bargaining agreement is the employment negotiations between employer and employee.
Proposition 105 gets the boot from Colorado
Coloradans did not approve the GMO labeling initiative on the ballot, meaning farmers do not have to label products made with GMO products.
Nearly 68 percent of Coloradans said “no” to the measure, while 78.1 percent, or 3,792, of Moffat County residents rejected it, as well.
Proposition 105 would have required genetically modified foods to be labeled as such. The new statute also would have imposed existing food mislabeling penalties in state law to food manufacturers, distributors and retailers.
The statute would prohibit citizens from bringing a lawsuit against food manufacturers, distributors and retailers for improperly labeling food.
It also would have required the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to develop regulations and oversee labeling regulations.
Moffat marijuana narrowly defeated
Moffat County citizens had the chance to decide if they would allow commercial cultivation of pot in the area.
Voters rejected the idea with 58.7 percent, or 2,859 votes, while 41.3 percent, or 2,008 voters, supported it.
Colorado treats marijuana taxes like ‘a piggy bank,’ but top lawmakers want to limit spending to two areas
The complaints from constituents and policy advocates are aimed at the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund, a depository for about half of the $272 million the state is expected to generate this fiscal year from marijuana-related taxes. The legislature has guidelines for how the money should be spent, but lawmakers can use it for just about anything they want. And in practice, they do, splitting the money among dozens of different programs, across more than a dozen state agencies.