News in Brief |

News in Brief

Entz concedes; Schwartz winsGail Schwartz of Snowmass Village won the state Senate District 5 race Wednesday, and incumbent Republican Lewis Entz officially conceded.Although the results remain unofficial, Schwartz, a Democrat, defeated Entz, a Republican, by a margin of 24,345 to 23,457, according to data from the Schwartz campaign.Entz maintains the margin was much narrower, but he conceded Wednesday that it was over. A report in the Rocky Mountain News quoted Entz as blaming the loss on the endorsement of Schwartz by U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo.Entz reportedly said Salazar had promised he would stay neutral in his race against Schwartz but endorsed her because she helped raise money for his senatorial campaign. “I guess it was money over friendship,” Entz said. “But that costs me votes here in the valley. Either way I lost. There’s going to be one less farmer up there [in the state Legislature].”Senate District 5 encompasses 11 counties on Colorado’s Western Slope, ranging from the northern boundary of Pitkin County to the New Mexico line.Garco voter trends follow ColoradoColorado and the United States as a whole shifted a bit to the color blue in Tuesdays elections. Garfield County was no different.But despite the Democratic majority both nationally and locally, some politicians dont think it will make that much difference in how things will operate in Garfield County.Frank Breslin, mayor of New Castle and a longtime Democrat, said hes never seen a Democratic sweep like this before. But he doesnt believe local politics are so much partisan as they are about issues.Four of the five contested Garfield County races went to Democrats: Incumbent surveyor Scott Aibner was the only Republican to win his race. The commissioner, assessor, clerk and recorder, and treasurer races all went to Democrats.Democrats Trsi Houpt (commissioner) and Georgia Chamberlain (treasurer) were incumbents, while Democrat Jean Alberico won the open clerk and recorder seat, and John Gorman unseated Republican incumbent Shannon Hurst for county assessor.At the state level, Garfield County voted in favor of the eventual governor-elect, Bill Ritter, a Democrat, at a slightly higher rate than the rest of Colorado Ritter earned 59 percent of the vote in Garfield County and 56 percent statewide. The same could be said of incumbent Democrat John Salazar (63 percent in Garfield, 61 statewide), who easily held his seat in the U.S. House, District 3. Republican State Rep. Al White was also re-elected, with Garfield County voters falling roughly in line with the voting percentage across the state.Garfield was once heavily Republican, but that doesnt seem to be the case anymore. And, despite the gains by Democrats, they are not the dominant force, either. The biggest party is the block of 9,712 unaffiliated voters. (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)

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