Election briefs | AspenTimes.com

Election briefs

Staff report
The Aspen Times and Vail Daily

Van Beek the likely winner in Eagle County sheriff race

Eagle County Clerk and Recorder Teak Simonton and the election judges counted another 117 ballots Wednesday, and James van Beek still leads Democrat Daric Harvey by 60 votes for the Eagle County sheriff seat.

There are still 88 votes to sort out, Simonton said, and there's still a slim chance Harvey could pull it out.

"It's possible but not very statistically probable," Simonton said.

To win, Harvey would have to get a huge majority, and most of the outstanding voters with signature issues would have to resolve these issues within seven days, she said.

Wednesday's results will be the last until election is verified on Nov. 13, Simonton said.

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Van Beek said he was happy but exhausted.

"It was a long hard race and certainly a good race. There's still a small chance it could swing, and we can't say anything with 100 percent certainty," van Beek said. "The outpouring of support was fantastic. Even today I was pulling up signs and people were honking and waving."

Hamner, Donovan await Gunnison County results

In the state House District 61 race, which includes Pitkin County, incumbent Millie Hamner, the Democrat, leads Republican challenger Debra Irvine by more than 2,800 votes as of Wednesday evening. Hamner currently has 17,152 votes, or 52.06 percent, compared with Irvine's 14,312 votes, or 43.44 percent.

Hamner said Wednesday she's waiting on the official count from Gunnison County before she makes a statement about the election results.

Gunnison County results also are holding up a victory party for state Senate District 5, which also includes Pitkin County. As of Wednesday evening, Democrat Kerry Donovan was ahead with 27,044 votes, or 48.85 percent, over Republican Don Suppes' 25,981 votes, or 46.93 percent.

Suppes had led the race late Tuesday, staying ahead of Donovan by about 2,000 votes. He even declared his victory on his Facebook page.

However, into the early hours of Wednesday, it became clear that late returns from Pitkin and Gunnison counties might turn the tide. By 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Donovan led with 26,401 votes over Suppes' 25,650.

Suppes posted on his Facebook page Wednesday: "A lot can change in 7 hours. It seems late returns from Pitkin County may have cost us the race. It appears we may have lost by 750 votes out of over 50,000 votes cast."

By late afternoon, the candidates were only waiting for 1,300 outstanding votes that had yet to be calculated in Gunnison County.