Wednesday, November 8, 2006
Editor Scott Stanford provides the video news update for Wednesday, November 8.
<!-- Brought to you by Coleman Cook and Sharon Pace-Ward of <a href="http://www.mybrokers.com">Colorado Group Realty</a> in Steamboat Springs. -->
<p></p><iframe id='afb0a591' name='afb0a591' src='http://ads2.ljworld.com/www/delivery/afr.php?zoneid=33&cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE' framespacing='0' frameborder='no' scrolling='no' width='191' height='41'><a href='http://ads2.ljworld.com/www/delivery/ck.php?n=a5064c36&cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE' target='_blank'><img src='http://ads2.ljworld.com/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=33&cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&n=a5064c36' border='0' alt='' /></a></iframe>
It was a big night for Routt County Democrats. Gary Wall will be the county's new sheriff after defeating Republican Garrett Wiggins 55 percent to 45 percent. Wall ran on a platform of protecting civil liberties. "I am obviously very happy and honored that the citizens of Routt County would want me to be their sheriff," Wall said early this morning. "I have a very clear philosophy of how I think law enforcement should run."
In other election races, Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush defeated Paul Strong for county commissioner. That race wasn't really close. The longtime planning commissioner defeated the former city council president 58 percent to 42 percent.
Mike Kerrigan made it a clean sweep for Democrats in county level races. Kerrigan defeated Dick Klumker and Nancy Terry in the race for assessor.
Democratic Congressman John Salazar carried Routt County on his way to re-election over Cortez Republican Scott Tipton, and Democrat Bill Ritter won Routt County in his bid for the governor's mansion. Ritter defeated Republican Bob Beauprez rather easily.
Residents in the Steamboat Springs School District voted for a $29 million bond issue to build a new elementary school and they also supported a mill levy override to give teachers a pay raise and set aside money to recruit and retain quality staff.
Voters in Steamboat Springs overwhelmingly rejected Referendum 2A, which would have raised pay for City Council members.
Routt County also took a liberal stance on several statewide ballot proposals. Routt County approved Amendment 44, which would legalize an ounce of marijuana, by a 53 to 47 percent margin. That measure failed statewide. The County also overwhelmingly rejected a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. That issue was approved statewide. Routt County also approved Referendum I, which would allow partners in same-sex relationships to receive certain benefits such as health insurance. Once again, Routt County was out of step with the state. That measure failed statewide.
A couple of statewide races to give you updates on. The races for state treasurer and secretary of state were too close to call Tuesday night. As of this morning, Democrat Cary Kennedy has a slight lead over Republican Mark Hillman in the treasurer's race and Republican Mike Coffman has opened up about a 6,000-vote lead over Democrat Ken Gordon in the secretary of state race.
Of Course, the big story of Tuesday was the voting machines, or you should say the lack of voting machines. The county switched to electronic machines this year and reduced the number of polling places to just eight. The changes combined with a long ballot and machines that broke down, resulted in waits of up to four hours to cast ballots. At the Steamboat Pilot Today, the last person voted at 11 p.m. and final election results were not posted until 1 a.m. this morning. County Clerk Kay Weinland said she will have more machines in place for the next election. Let's hope she does. The Steamboat Pilot & Today thinks the county needs to double the number of machines from 35 to 70.
Remember, all of your election information - including precinct by precinct breakdown of how Routt County voted - is available at steamboatpilot.com
In Sports, don't forget about the playoff games this weekend. Steamboat Springs takes on Fort Lupton at 1 p.m. Saturday at Gardner Field and Hayden host Limon at 1 p.m. Saturday in Hayden.
The weather is beautiful. Temperatures are in the 40s now and we're on a way to a high of 60 with sunny skies. Thursday looks similar.
That's the news for now. Check in with steamboatpilot.com throughout the day for more news updates.