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Clapper, Ireland win

Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Pitkin County Commissioner Patti Clapper trounced challenger Tim Mooney Tuesday at the polls to win her second term in office, while incumbent Commissioner Mick Ireland out-polled his absentee opponent.

Clapper won with 67 percent of the vote in the District 1 race, garnering 3,822 votes to Mooney’s 1,869.

In District 2, Ireland won his third term with 59 percent of the vote, beating Ramon Duvernay 3,249 to 2,232.

Although county commissioners represent districts, they are elected in a countywide vote.

Clapper collected more votes than any other candidate for the Board of County Commissioners, while Duvernay managed to out-poll Mooney even though he was absent from the campaign. Duvernay, 35, suffered a pair of strokes and has been recuperating at his parent’s home in the East since last June. He collected 40 percent of the vote in his race against Ireland despite his nonparticipation.

Clapper, who was bracing for a tight race with Mooney, was ecstatic over her resounding victory after the results were in last night.

“I was expecting it to be very close, like last time,” said Clapper, who beat Tom McCabe in the District 1 race four years ago. (McCabe is now an Aspen city councilman.)

“It means, I think, people feel I did a good job for four years, and I’m going to do a good job for the next four years,” she said.

Mooney did not return phone calls.

Ireland was philosophical about his win: “It’s never something I would boast about or be ashamed of,” he said.

“I basically have been doing the same thing for nine years, with the same consequences at the polls,” Ireland said.

He was appointed to the Board of County Commissioners in October 1993 and was elected Tuesday to his third, and presumably, final term. County voters last year eased term limits for county commissioners, allowing them to serve three consecutive terms instead of two.

Duvernay, who fought against the ballot measure that allowed Ireland to run a third time, could not be reached for comment on yesterday’s election results. A family member said Duvernay had not prepared a statement and that the candidate would not speak to an Aspen Times reporter.

Nonetheless, Duvernay apparently did some campaigning on election day. He left a message on City Councilman Tony Hershey’s answering machine urging Hershey to vote. “If you want to vote for Ramon Duvernay, that would be cool,” the message said.

[Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com]


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