Caloia is apparent winner in DA’s race

Heather McGregor
Post Independent
Aspen CO Colorado
Sherry Caloia

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Democratic challenger Sherry Caloia is the apparent winner in the very close race for the 9th Judicial District attorney’s seat against incumbent Martin Beeson.

Results from Pitkin County, announced at about 10 p.m. Tuesday, pushed the vote count further in Caloia’s favor from the 124-vote margin she has held since Nov. 7. She ended up with a 184-vote margin over Beeson, 17,633 to 17,449. Caloia claimed 50.2 percent of the vote compared with 49.8 percent for Beeson, a Republican.

Caloia won strongly enough in Pitkin County, 6,023 to 3,037, to outweigh her losses in Garfield and Rio Blanco counties. In the three-county judicial district, all the votes are totaled to determine the winner.

“I am very happy with the results,” Caloia said Tuesday evening. “I have to thank a lot of people, so I will be busy on the phone thanking all my supporters. The people who helped me campaign, and campaigned for me, they did a heck of a job.”

Beeson did not concede the race Tuesday night.

“I will take a look at the official numbers; they are still very close. I will think on it, sleep on it and figure out what my next step will be,” Beeson said.

A recount remains a possibility, but Caloia said she is planning to move ahead.

“I hope to make the transition as smooth as possible,” she said. “I hope I can do justice for citizens of the 9th Judicial District over the next four years.”

She plans to attend a training session for new district attorneys offered next week by the Colorado District Attorney’s Council.

The race for the three-county district attorney’s seat has been unresolved since Election Day due to the close vote and the fact that hundreds of provisional ballots had not yet been counted.

Rio Blanco County Clerk Nancy Amick produced that county’s final results Thursday. Her elections team processed 77 provisional ballots and accepted 42. Beeson gained a margin of 26 votes from the final count in Rio Blanco County.

On Tuesday afternoon, Garfield County Clerk Jean Alberico released Garfield County’s new results, which nudged Beeson’s margin up by another 15.

Alberico said her elections team counted 19 cured ballots, which were mail-in ballots set aside on Election Day because of various problems that have since been resolved. The team also reviewed 561 provisional ballots and ruled that 408 of those ballots could be counted.

Of the 408, however, 57 were accepted only as “federal-state” ballots because voters showed up at the wrong polling place in the county.

As a result, only their votes in the presidential, congressional, University of Colorado regent, state judges and statewide ballot questions could be counted.

In particular, their votes in the district attorney’s race could not be counted, Alberico said.

In Pitkin County, the elections team processed 204 provisional ballots and 100 cured ballots. Numbers weren’t available Tuesday evening regarding how many of the provisional ballots were accepted.

Here are the final numbers in the DA’s race tallied on Tuesday:

Caloia: 10,810 in Garfield, 800 in Rio Blanco, 6,023 in Pitkin County and 17,633 total.

Beeson: 12,094 in Garfield, 2,318 in Rio Blanco, 3,037 in Pitkin County and 17,449 total.