District attorney to seek a recount
Ryan Summerlin November 27, 2012
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Ninth Judicial District Attorney Martin Beeson said Monday he will seek a recount of votes following his apparent loss in the Nov. 6 election to challenger Sherry Caloia.
“I don’t want to walk out of this office wondering why I left this stone unturned,” Beeson said Monday in a telephone interview.
“I don’t think the result will necessarily be different, but the margin is so close,” he said. “The only expectation I have is the recount is going to be conducted, and conducted appropriately, and we will come out with one of two results, either a confirmation or a new result.”
Beeson, a Rifle Republican, was seeking re-election to his second full term in office. He also finished the term of a previous district attorney who had been recalled. Caloia is a Glenwood Springs Democrat who runs a private law practice.
Beeson will have to pay for the recount because the 184-vote margin is well over the amount that would have prompted an automatic recount.
He has until Dec. 7 to request the recount but said he would be submitting a formal written request to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office by Tuesday.
Under state law, the county clerks for the three counties in the 9th Judicial District will have until Dec. 13 to complete their recount of ballots, according to Rich Coolidge, spokesman for the Secretary of State’s Office.
“With the number of ballots we are dealing with, it will take us four to five days,” said Garfield County Clerk Jean Alberico. “We have to run all the ballots back through the equipment.”
Once the Secretary of State’s Office receives Beeson’s request, state officials will confer with the clerks in Pitkin, Garfield and Rio Blanco counties to determine a cost for the recount. Beeson must pay for the recount upfront.
Coolidge said a recount conducted in 2010 for former state legislator and write-in candidate Kathleen Curry cost about $10,000. This recount will cover a comparable area, he said.
“Unless I’m way off the mark, it shouldn’t be too costly,” Beeson said.
A final count in the three-county race for the district attorney’s seat wasn’t known until late Nov. 20, after Pitkin County completed its count of 300 provisional and uncured mail-in ballots. Garfield County released its final tally earlier that day after counting 408 valid provisional ballots, and Rio Blanco announced its tally Nov. 15 after counting 42 valid provisionals.
Beeson won in Rio Blanco and Garfield counties but not by enough votes to offset Caloia’s win in Pitkin County.
Caloia is continuing to prepare for a transition while she waits on the recount.
“A recount is something he has a right to do and pay for,” she said. “However, I do have confidence in Jean Alberico and her staff, and I do not expect that there would be much, if any, difference in the results. And I have heard nothing but praise for the clerk in Rio Blanco County, and Pitkin County has done a great job, as well. I just don’t believe that it will change.”
Beeson said he is prepared for either outcome.
“I’m a realist. I don’t have any expectations. I am ready to move on, and I will walk out of this office with my head held high, knowing my team and I did a good job. I have no doubts about my future,” he said.
A recount, however, will provide a greater level of certainty, he said.
“There are people associated with me, who have worked with me and for me, and I don’t want to jeopardize their future,” Beeson said. “I didn’t want to leave anything undone that I could have done.”