Stan Whinnery Re-Elected in Heavy Balloting November 8
Tuesday evening’s culmination of a long local, regional, and national election season witnessed unusually heavy mailed ballot returns and predictable strong preference for Republican candidates in Hinsdale County. Stan Whinnery, incumbent Republican commissioner representing the county’s District 3, handily won re-election to his third four-year term with a total of 312 votes, outpolling his Democratic opponent, Rob Hudgeons, who received 266 votes county-wide. Highest local vote tallies went to District 1 Hinsdale County Commissioner Susan Thompson and Hinsdale County Court Judge Alvin Lutz; Thomspon, who was running unopposed for her second four-year term as county commissioner, received 439 votes in the November 8 election, while a retention question on the ballot for Judge Lutz also drew a total of 439 yes votes, compared to just 72 who voted against his retention in the county judicial position. According to Deputy Hinsdale County Clerk & Recorder Linda Pavich, a total of 611 ballots were cast in Tuesday’s election prior to the 7 p.m. deadline. Out of a total of 690 active voters who received ballots in this election, the 611 ballots which were returned represent a whopping 89 percent turnout, among the very highest of any county in the state. Of the 611 ballots which were cast in the county, 103 were Democrats, 374 Republican, one Green, six Libertarian, and 127 Unaffiliated. Deputy Roberts states that the official canvas of votes to confirm county vote tallies will occur at 10 a.m. Tuesday, November 15. Tabulation of ballots proceeded quickly, according to Roberts, thanks to the efforts of election judges Brenda Wagner, Helen Slattery, Carol Robinson, and Shelby Bonner. After the close of polling at 7 p.m. Tuesday, final vote tabulations were completed by 8:30 p.m. The election question drawing the single greatest number of Hinsdale County votes was Amendment 69 asking voters statewide for approval amend the State Constitution allowing increased taxes to create ColoradoCare, a state-wide health care system. In Hinsdale County, Amendment 69 was decisively defeated by a margin of 486 voters who voted in opposition, compared to only 102 voters who voted in favor of the state health care system. State-wide, the state health care proposal was decisively defeated by a majority of 79.6 percent (1,851,435 votes) in opposition to just 20.3 percent of voters who cast ballots in favor. For U.S. Senator, incumbent Michael Bennet, a Democrat, received 247 votes in the county, compared to 316 votes for his opponent, Republican Darryl Glenn, 17 for Libertarian Lily Tang Williams, 6 for Green Party candidate Arn Menconi, one vote for Bill Hammons of the Unity Party. State-wide, Senator Bennet was re-elected with 48.9 percent of the vote. U.S. Representative Scott Tipton (R) was also re-elected in the state with a 54.3 percent plurality, compared to 40.9 percent of the state-wide vote for Tipton’s Democratic challenger, Gail Schwartz. In Hinsdale County, Tipton received 350 votes, 216 for Schwartz, and 16 votes for Libertarian Gaylon Kent. Although still unofficial as of Wednesday afternoon, incumbent District 59 State Representative J. Paul Brown was apparently defeated by his Democratic rival, Barbara Hall McLachlan. Within District 59, the unofficial tally is 50.6 percent (22,970 votes) McLachlan, 49.3 percent (22,353 votes) Brown, a knife-edge plurality of just 353 votes for the Democratic challenger. In Hinsdale County, McLauchlin received 193 votes, compared to 370 votes for incumbent Brown. In Hinsdale County’s South End at Piedra, 11 voted in favor of Ballot issue 4A, a de-Brucing tax measure in Upper San Juan Health District, 13 opposed; the ballot issue ultimately narrowly passed in Archuleta County, cumulative vote 3,314 yes, 3,231 no. Hinsdale County vote tabulation followed the county’s historic preference for GOP candidates, including nationally successful Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Michael Pence who received a total of 339 votesin the county . Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine received 197 votes in Hinsdale. State-wide, Colorado voters gave a narrow edge of approximately 47 percent of the vote (unofficial tally 1,126,384) to Clinton/Kaine and 45 percent (unofficial 1,075,770) to Trump/Pence. A smattering of votes for other candidates were tabulated in Hinsdale in the U.S. Presidential race, the largest of which, 27, went to Libertarian Party candidates Gary Johnson and Bill Weld, followed by Green Party candidates Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka who received 11 votes in the county. Single digit presidential tallies in Hinsdale County also included two votes for American Constitution candidates Darrell Castle and Scott Bradley, and single votes which were cast for America’s Party candidates Hoefling and Schulin; Veterans of America Party’s Keniston and Taylor; Kopitke and Sorenson of the Independent American Party; Kotlikoff and Leamer, Kotlikoff for President; LaRiva and Banks, Socialism & Liberation; and McMullin and Johnson, Unaffiliated. State Board of Education, Rankin 365 in Hinsdale, Pacheco-Koveleski 171; CU Regent, county vote 176 for Madden, 308 for Ganahl. Hinsdale followed state trends in voting for retention of Justice William Hood on the Colorado Supreme Court (in Hinsdale, 439 to retain, 72 not to retain), and also gave majority retention votes for Ashby, Berger, Bernard, Dunn, Furman, Hawthorne, Jones, Navarro, Roman, and Terry on the Colorado Appeals Court. County voting on State propositions and proposed Constitutional Amendments in general followed state voting trends: Amendment T eliminating involuntary servitude, 209 yes in Hinsdale, 352 no (not called at the state level as of Wednesday with 50.8 percent against); Amendment U, Property Tax Exemption, local county vote 202 yes, 345 no (defeated in state 56.7 percent); Amendment 70, Increase Minimum Wage, 251 yes, 340 no in Hinsdale County (approved in the state 54.3 percent in favor); Amendment 71, tightening requirements for Constitutional Initiatives – Hinsdale 385 yes, 179 no (state-wide, 56.7 percent in favor); Amendment 72, Increase Tobacco Taxes – 263 yes, 324 no in Hinsdale County (defeated state-wide, 53.6 percent no); Proposition 106, Medical Aid in Dying – Hinsdale County, 389 yes, 206 no (passed in the state 64.5 percent plurality); Proposition 107, Re-create Presidential Primary in Colorado – Hinsdale, 382 in favor, 194 opposed (in state, 63.6 percent approval); Proposition 108, Expand Unaffiliated Voting – Hinsdale 275 yes, 297 no (too close to call in state at mid-week, 52.4 percent of votes tabulated in favor).