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Voter turnout tops 40 percent

In a primary election that saw Chaffee voter turnout top 40 percent, Chaffee County voters selected Jared Polis (Democrat) and Victor Mitchell (Republican) as their favorite candidates for governor. Chaffee voters gave Stephany Rose Spaulding of Colorado Springs, the Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives District 5, more than twice as many votes as incumbent Congressman Doug Lamborn. Voters were still walking in the door of the Clerk and Recorder’s office at nearly 8:30 p.m., asking if they could vote. (For the record, polls closed at 7 p.m.)

Chaffee County Clerk and Recorder Lori Mitchell said that primary election day voting had been heavy. “We had more than 1,560 ballots come in the door. It was a big day.”

This election was the first Colorado primary that allowed unaffiliated voters to vote in the major party primaries. As of late Monday, the unaffiliated voters were breaking for the Democrats 59 percent, versus 41 percent for Republicans. Lori Mitchell appears to have gotten more votes than any other candidate on the ballot by garnering 2,407 votes in her reelection bid for Chaffee County Clerk and Recorder – more votes than all the Republican candidates for governor combined. She said actual unaffiliated voter percentages won’t be out until Wednesday.

In the primary race for governor, Democrats picked up 2,698 Chaffee County votes versus 2,404 votes for Republican candidates. In the race for the United States House of Representatives District 5, Republicans garnered more votes: 2,368 to 2,177.

On the local side, candidates for County Commissioner District 3, Kimberly Parker (D) and Russell “Rusty” Granzella (R) both received solid endorsements from their parties. Parker edged out Granzella by 192 total votes. Erin Kelley, candidate for District 60 state representative, garnered more votes on the Democratic ticket than did incumbent Jim Wilson on the Republican ballot.

The incumbent State Senator for District 5, Kerry Donovan handily won the Chaffee County Democratic Party endorsement for that role.

Lori Mitchell cautioned that per prescribed election process, ballot results remain unofficial during an eight-day waiting period and will become final after the ballot canvass. “We’ll have maybe 25 ballots to check. Not many. This was a pretty smooth election.”

The Chaffee County Clerk and Recorder office announced it will put out final voter totals on Wednesday. There are 12,689 active, registered voters in Chaffee County. Confirmation of a 40-percent voter turnout will signify at least 5,075 votes were cast via a mailed ballot or a walk-in vote.


Chaffee County Election Results

Candidate- United States Congress, District 5 Party Chaffee Vote total
Stephany Rose Spaulding Dem 2,175
Total Democrat 2,175
Doug Lamborn Rep 1,043
Darryl Glenn Rep 802
Owen Hill Rep 367
Bill Rhea Rep 81
Tyler Stephens Rep 75
Total Republican 2,368


Candidate Colorado Governor Party Chaffee Vote total
Jared Polis Dem 1,106
Cary Kennedy Dem 769
Mike Johnston Dem 633
Donna Lynn Dem 190
Total Democrat 2,698
Victor Mitchell Rep 1,072
Walker Stapleton Rep 829
Greg Lopez Rep 307
Doug Robinson Rep 196
Total Republican 2,404


State Representative District 60

Candidate Party Chaffee vote total
Erin Kelley Dem 2,140
James “Jim” Wilson Rep 2,001


Chaffee County Commissioner  District 3

Candidate Party Chaffee vote total
Kimberly Parker Dem 2,129
Russell “Rusty” Granzella Rep 1,937