Here’s to the losers | AspenTimes.com

Here’s to the losers

Paul E. Anna

So did the elections go your way?

Judging from the folks I saw at the polls on Tuesday, it would seem that a Democrat- controlled House and Senate fits this county like a warm overcoat. In a state that has red and blue counties, Pitkin is clearly the color of the cobalt sky that graced our valley on Election Day.

Turning on the radio, on the other hand, showed that not all of America was pleased with the outcome. Rush and Sean Hannity answered calls from listeners who were positively morose at the thought of Nancy Pelosi taking over as the first female, Italian- American Speaker of the House.

While the election was not exactly an “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore” statement by the American people, there was a sense that, in a civilly obedient sort of way, the electorate had indeed registered their displeasure with the status quo. Bully for America. Well done.

Locally, the best news was the turnout ” 6,732 ( according to Pitkin County’s unofficial results dated Nov. 8, 2006) of you actually voted on Tuesday, and for that we also deserve a well done.

Perhaps my favorite vote total was the 5,369 votes racked up by Tom Isaac. I know he was unopposed in the election, but still, 5,369 of you put a mark next to the guy who sends you your tax bill? Isaac’s vote count trailed that of Sheriff Bob Braudis, who garnered 5,445 yeas. Bob is beloved, but his total, no doubt, was bolstered by his opponent’s personal version of “Desert Solitaire.”

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Still, we should thank Rick Magnuson for running. And Tim Mooney and James True. And over in Snowmass, Bill Boineau. These people put themselves out there, on the line, in an effort to serve us. One can question their policies, their ideas and even their personal motives for enter­ing the political arena, but the fact is they entered the fray and now have to face defeat in response to their efforts.

As voters we do our duty, but as candi­dates they take things many steps further in their attempt to participate in the demo­cratic process. Not only is it time-consum­ing and potentially expensive to run for an elected office, it also can be deeply humili­ating to be in the cross hairs of a free press, as we so vividly found out in the sheriffs race.

So as we wind down from the elec­tions, let’s celebrate the victors and hope they have the strength to represent us well. But let’s not forget the losers, for without them, the process of democracy is incom­plete.