Pitkin County commissioners race: Incumbent Steve Child, newcomer Francie Jacober win seats
With nearly nearly 90 percent of Pitkin County’s electorate counted early Wednesday morning, incumbent Steve Child and newcomer Francie Jacober cruised to easy victories on the county commission.
Child, 72, was leading challenger Chris Council 71.7% to 28.3% with a total of 10,404 votes counted in the first wave of results announced at 12:09 a.m. Wednesday morning by Pitkin County Clerk Janice Vos Caudill. Child received 7,459 votes to 2,945 for Council.
“I’m really happy right now,” Child said Tuesday night by phone from his home in Old Snowmass. “I’m so relieved. I know not everybody agrees with all that the board does, but I think this is an affirmation that they agree with us most of the time.”
Child, whose family has owned a ranch in the Capitol Creek area for decades, was elected to his third four-year term on the board in the District 4 seat. His father, Bob Child, occupied the seat for three terms on the board between 1978 and 1988, then was elected to a fourth term and served from 1993 to 1995 before resigning to take care of his wife, who was in poor health.
“I’m continuing the family legacy here,” Child said.
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Council, who campaigned hard for Child’s seat, said Tuesday’s results were unexpected.
“I’m pretty surprised the spread was that big,” he said Tuesday night from his home in Snowmass Village. “I knew it was going to be an uphill challenge.”
He said that the positive reaction he’d gotten from county residents to his candidacy coupled with the negative reaction he’d heard to the county’s response to the Covid pandemic led him to a partisan conclusion about the 2020 election.
“My gut tells me a lot of folks (voted a straight) Democratic ticket,” Council said. “I didn’t have that (designation) next to my name.”
Council congratulated Child and thanked his supporters.
In the other contested Pitkin Board of County Commissioners race, Jacober was leading Jeffrey Evans by a nearly identical margin, 72.4% to 27.6%. Jacober had received 7,603 votes to Evans’ 2,895 as of 12:09 a.m. Wednesday.
Jacober, a 73-year-old retired teacher, will serve her first term in the District 5 seat and will replace Commissioner George Newman, who has held the seat for the maximum-allowed three terms on the board.
“I’m feeling pretty excited,” Jacober said from her home in Carbondale. “I’ve got my whole family on Zoom. It’s pretty crazy right now.”
Jacober, a political novice, said she was “pretty blown away” by the support she’s received from community members.
“I didn’t expect all the positive support I got,” she said. “It was really heartening.”
One of things Jacober said she’d like to emphasize during her term is support for undocumented workers in the community.
Evans, 68, said voters’ rejection of his campaign meant that few residents want to solve the problems associated with the Entrance to Aspen, an issue he’s been associated with for years.
“The vast majority of Pitkin County is perfectly happy with the Entrance to Aspen exactly the way it is and that’s not going to change,” he said. “I’m far more knowledgeable about the Entrance to Aspen than anyone in the valley. But I can forget all of it. People don’t care.”
Like Council, Evans also said his candidacy suffered because he did not run as a Democrat.
“Either you’re a Democrat (in Pitkin County) or you’re not,” he said.
In the end, however, Evans said he was glad he lost.
“With what the new administration is facing, I’m as much relieved as anything,” he said. “I will be issuing condolences to Francie.”
The District 3 seat on the board was up for election Tuesday as well, though incumbent Commissioner Greg Poschman ran unopposed for his second term.
The three commissioner seats up for election will receive an annual salary of $88,479 and benefits, according to the county.
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