GLENWOOD SPRINGS - District Attorney Martin Beeson on Friday conceded the race for the 9th Judicial District Attorney's Office to his challenger, attorney Sherry Caloia.
Beeson, a Republican from Rifle, issued his announcement at 4:37 p.m. on Friday. It came just before a 5 p.m. deadline for putting up the $11,831 cost for a three-county recount of the Nov. 6 election results.
In an email to area newspapers and radio stations covering all three of the district's counties - Garfield, Pitkin and Rio Blanco - Beeson congratulated Caloia on her victory.
Caloia, a Democrat from Glenwood Springs, was reached by cellphone in Denver, where she was attending class on the role and responsibilities of a district attorney. She received the news in momentary silence.
"I did not know that," she said a few moments after being informed of Beeson's announcement.
"I'm very pleased that it's over and we can now get on with what we both need to do," she continued. "I wish him good luck."
Caloia beat Beeson by a margin just in excess of one-half of one percent of the vote, 17,633 to 17,441. That was too great to trigger an automatic recount, meaning the cost would fall to Beeson.
Beeson's announcement did not mention the recount.
In his email, Beeson stated, "It is my hope that all will give District Attorney-elect Caloia the support she will need to carry out the solemn duties that lie before her as the chief advocate for those in our communities who have been, and sadly will become, victims of crime."
Beeson added, "We have been placed in this world not as owners but as stewards. As our new district attorney undertakes the role of steward of this esteemed office, let us join hands and hearts in praying for wisdom and steadfastness for her in the pursuit of justice for those whose lives she will hold in her hands."
Beeson closed the email with the statement, "I will not be responding to inquiries at this time. This time is Sherry Caloia's and our focus should be on her assumption of the leadership responsibilities of the office."
Caloia said the classes she attended Thursday and Friday were very helpful and that she talked with many other district attorneys who gave her pointers about the transition process and other matters.
"I'm very glad I went," she said.
Although she has yet to begin the transition process in earnest, Caloia said she already has been mulling it over.
"Most of the staff, I will keep," she said, referring to the deputy district attorneys who have been working under Beeson.
She declined to comment any further on the transition.