Menconi, Gallagher win commish seats
Two Democrats won election to Eagle County commissioner seats Tuesday – one by a landslide and the other by only 37 votes.
In the District 2 race, Democrat Arn Menconi attracted 6,270 votes to squeak by Republican Steve Morris, who had 6,233 votes. A third candidate, independent Kathy Warren, received 1,614 votes.
Menconi’s campaign themes featured less growth and more affordable housing.
In the District 1 race, Democrat Michael Gallagher crushed Republican Chuck Crist 8,034 votes to 5,917 votes, or a margin of 58 to 42 percent. Gallagher was appointed to the seat in February when Democrat James Johnson resigned and moved from the area.
His major plank featured updating and following master plans that dictate growth for the county’s various neighborhoods.
Votes by precinct weren’t available Tuesday night, so it was uncertain whether residents of the El Jebel and Basalt areas agreed with the selections.
Eagle County Clerk Sara Fisher said almost 80 percent of Eagle County voters turned out. She said the two latest general elections in 1998 and 1996 drew between 65 and 70 percent of voters.
Eagle County voters followed the state overall by supporting George W. Bush over Al Gore for president. Bush attracted 7,161 votes, or 47 percent, to 6,764 votes, or 45 percent, for Gore.
Green Party candidate Ralph Nader lured 1,045 votes, or nearly 7 percent of Eagle County’s total.
Eagle County overwhelmingly supported Scott McInnis’ bid for re-election as U.S. representative in the 3rd House District.
The statewide growth amendment lost by about a 2-to-1 margin in Eagle County en route to failing in Colorado. There were 9,434 votes against the anti-growth measure, or about 64 percent against, to 5,310, or 36 percent, in support.
In two issues affecting just the Roaring Fork Valley portion of Eagle County, voters in Basalt approved a property-tax increase to expand their sewer treatment plant. There were 416 votes in support, 233 against.
The Mid-Valley Metropolitan District saw its property-tax increase for plant expansion approved by only a three-vote margin. The measure was approved 122 to 119. Fisher said that tally will automatically be recounted.
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Had Hailey Swirbul decided against going to Europe, she would not have finished with a career-best result in Friday’s World Cup opener. Yes, there was a time, and not long ago, when the U.S. ski team member and Roaring Fork Valley native questioned her desire to put on a race bib.