Local General Election Contest Summary

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Voters in 13 precincts throughout Prowers County are receiving their mail-in ballots. County Clerk & Recorder Jana Coen had announced earlier that the mail-out would take place to allow voters to receive their ballots between October 14 and 17.

There is only one contested position in Prowers County, that for the office of Sheriff, with the race between Republican Sam Zordel and Unaffiliated candidate, Ron Manly. Both candidates have been employed in the Prowers County Sheriff’s Office for a number of years.  Current sheriff, James Faull, declared early in the year that he would not seek office after 2014.

Not actually a contested position for county voters, but the ballots offer a yes/no question as to retain Judge Larry Stutler in that office.  Most other local elected positions have no opposition.  Ron Cook will become the next County Commissioner for District Two, replacing current Commission Chairman, Joe Marble, who was defeated earlier in the year during the local GOP precinct caucus.  Cook, who currently serves on the Lamar City Council, will have to resign from that office when he makes the transition from city to county.

Several county candidates are not facing opposition, including Jana Coen for County Clerk & Recorder, Lorraine Woolley for County Treasurer, Andy Wyatt for County Assessor, Joe Giadone for County Coroner and a regional election has Tim Dore, State Representative for District 64 running with no opposition on the county ballot.

Most of the airwaves have been bombarded with commercials for the two leading candidates for the U.S. Senate seat for Colorado that has gained national attention. Cory Gardner, currently the District 4 Congressional representative, is going head to head with Democrat Mark Udall.  Any number of victories across the country could mean a swing in the balance of power in the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives.  The senate contest actually has seven entries, including one write-in.  Four candidates are vying to take Gardner’s representative seat in Congress.  His loss, and a win for Democrat Vic Meyers against Ken Buck, would reduce GOP representation for the state.  Seven candidates are running for Governor/Lieutenant Governor with the prime contest between Democratic incumbents Hickenlooper/ Garcia against Beauprez/Repella.  Betsey Markey, who had only one term as the Congressional District 4 representative who was unseated by Gardner in his bid for the position, is running in a three-way race for State Treasurer.

Voters will decide on several questions on this year’s ballot. The most publicly advertised is Amendment 68, which would allow the creation of what has been called a Racino, a combination racetrack and casino operation.  Proponents say it would raise $114,000,000 through a tax on betting to be used for K-12 education in Colorado.  Opponents say this would be a statewide election impacting only Pueblo, Arapaho and Mesa counties and provisions of the amendment contain various hidden costs not covered in advertising messages.  The other ballot question that is generating some media advertising is a yes or no on Amendment 105, pertaining to a change in state statutes concerning the labeling of GMOs or genetically modified food items at grocery stores.  If that passes, the labeling would take effect in July, 2016.

If voters have not already received a State Ballot Information Booklet in the mail, they may be available through a request of the county clerk’s office. These pamphlets offer pros and cons on the merits of each of the five ballot questions.

There were 4,028 registered voters in Prowers County for the 2012 election. The political breakdown two years ago had 2,033 for the Republican Party, 998 for the Democratic Party and 997 considered as ‘Other’.  The 2014 General Election has seen a significant increase in voters at 5788.  Of those 2,697 are Republican, 1,320 are Democrats and 1,771 are listed as ‘Other’.  Ballots must be received at the Prowers County Clerk’s Office at 301 South Main Street by 7pm on Tuesday, November 4.  It’s been suggested that you do not wait until the last minute to mail your ballot, but hand deliver it to the clerk’s office for an official count.

By Russ Baldwin

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