Child, Young win primary for Pitkin County commissioner
June 27, 2012
ASPEN – Rancher Steve Child and former local government administrator John B. Young will advance to the November election in the District 4 Pitkin County commissioner race.
They were the two top vote-getters in Tuesday’s primary, outpolling candidates Darryl Grob and John Wilkinson, though it took until the wee hours of Wednesday for the candidates to find out how they’d fared Tuesday at the polls. Election returns weren’t available from the county Clerk and Recorder’s Office until shortly before 1 a.m. Wednesday, nearly six hours after the polls closed.
Child, running as a Democrat, led with 666 votes, followed by Young, an unaffiliated candidate, with 524. Grob, also running as an unaffiliated candidate, finished with 337 votes and Wilkinson, a Democrat, trailed with 207 votes. Turnout for the primary was 21.4 percent of the county’s active voters, according to the clerk’s office.
As Tuesday evening’s wait wore on, Child checked the posted results on a few polling place doors for a hint of the outcome, and was encouraged by his apparent victory.
“I’m really pretty humbled by this whole thing. I’m pretty amazed,” said the candidate, who operates a Capitol Creek cattle ranch and works as a shuttle bus driver in Snowmass Village. He is the son of the late Bob Child, a former county commissioner who is fondly remembered by a number of longtime county residents. The younger Child did not discount his father’s legacy as a factor in his election bid.
“He was very, very well liked,” Child said. “He did an outstanding job as county commissioner, and I think people remember him.”
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Child said he will take an approach much like his father’s if he’s elected to the District 4 post in the November general election.
“What’s best for the county would always be important to me. That was always a consideration for my father,” he said.
Young, of Old Snowmass, is a former Snowmass Village town manager who also has plenty of job experience in Pitkin County government as well as in land-use and affordable-housing consulting. He is seeking the District 4 seat for a second time after losing to incumbent Jack Hatfield in the 2000 election. Hatfield will be forced out by term limits.
Young could not be reached for comment late Tuesday.
Grob, former Aspen fire chief and a Snowmass Village resident, was making his first bid for public office. Wilkinson is a Snowmass Village Town Council member who will finish his second term on the council this year; term limits will prevent him from seeking re-election to that post.
Child complimented his fellow candidates for the commissioner seat.
“I grew to like all three of them and got to know them all better during the course of the campaign,” he said.