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Attorneys, Ruemmler disagree on number of signatures required for recall in Avon

Following an unsuccessful attempt to recall members of the Avon Town Council, Wildridge resident Tom Ruemmler offered a different interpretation of the number of signatures required to initiate a recall election.

Ruemmler’s read on the Colorado Constitution — which states signatures totaling 25 percent of the entire vote cast at the last preceding election can trigger a recall — reflects a number that is about 140 signatures fewer than the number town attorney Paul Wisor says can initiate a recall of candidates elected to the Town Council in 2018 in Avon.

Avon resident Tom Ruemmler

Ruemmler and Wisor agree that a one-fourth factor determines the number of signatures to trigger a recall, but while Wisor maintains that means one-fourth of the total number of voters, Ruemmler says it should be one-fourth of one-fourth of the total number of votes cast, since voters were allowed to vote as many as four times each.

At a Town Council meeting on Tuesday, Ruemmler shared his view.

“If we just used votes cast, we would have had to obtain 1,319 signatures, which is 60 percent more than the votes that the candidates got,” Ruemmler said.

By dividing that 1,319 figure by four, Ruemmler arrives at his figure of 330. Wisor’s figure of 496 is one fourth of the total number of voters (1,984).

’25 percent of the electorate’

Before Wisor had a chance to respond, Kristi Ferraro, an Avon resident and practicing attorney, offered a response that coincides with Wisor’s view.

Ferraro said the Colorado Supreme Court has held that 25% of all votes cast means 25% of the electorate.

“496 signatures represent 25 percent of the 1984 voters who cast ballots for Avon Town Council in the 2018 election,” Ferraro said. “330 signatures only represents 17 percent of the 2018 Avon electorate, which is a small and unrepresentative minority. A recall election should not be held in response to the wishes of only 17 percent of the electorate.”

Wisor, in an email, said he’s certain the town performed the correct math in arriving at its figure.

“We have spent a significant amount of time reviewing the relevant constitutional, statutory and charter provisions as well as the applicable case law with respect to this issue,” Wisor wrote. “I am absolutely confident we have correctly calculated the number of signatures required to trigger a recall election.”

Avon resident Michael Cacioppo, who helped with the recall effort, said Ruemmler now has the opportunity see the issue settled in court, and that is how he would like to see it resolved.

“I suggest to you all that Mr. Ruemmler is reading the law correctly and you may very well get the opportunity to defend yourselves in court,” Cacioppo said. “That’s my hope.”

How Eagle County voted: Blue wave mirrors state trend

Joe Biden on Wednesday night held slim leads in key states in the razor-thin race for the presidency, but in Eagle County, the result was never in question. Local voters punched the ticket for the former vice president by a margin of nearly 2-1 with the Democrat claiming 64% of the county vote compared to Donald Trump’s 34%.

Results remain unofficial.

Maybe the most surprising thing among the local presidential results is that 74 Eagle County residents voted for Kanye West, who ran as an unaffiliated candidate.

A big blue wave

Locally, Tuesday was a big night for Democrats, mirroring a trend at the state level.

For the first time since 1936, when Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt claimed a sweeping re-election win with 523 electoral votes, Democrats control every statewide elected office, both chambers of the state legislature, both U.S. Senate seats and the balance of the state’s U.S. House delegation.

Biden won Colorado’s nine electoral votes with ease, unofficially claiming 56% of the vote with the race being called early Tuesday night. 

Local Republicans could find solace in Lauren Boebert’s victory in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District race — becoming the first woman to hold the seat in the sprawling, red-leaning district — and the passage of Proposition 116, which will drop the state’s income tax from 4.63% to 4.55%.

“The county was a bright spot for Democrats,” said Melissa Decker, the chairwoman of the Eagle County Democrats. “A real strong performance. A little sad about how CD-3 went, but not entirely unanticipated.”

‘Not giving up on Colorado’

Kaye Ferry, the chairwoman of the Eagle County Republican Party, said she believes it’s time for the party faithful to be more stalwart in their actions.

“Republicans need to start being Republicans,” Ferry said. “They need to wear it on their sleeve. In doing so, we have the ability to change things. Hiding is not the way to change anything.”

Ferry added it’s “unfortunate the way the state of Colorado has gone.” She noted the state was a pretty conservative place when she moved here from Illinois.

While disappointed in the results, Ferry said she’s “Not giving up on Colorado, and I’m certainly not going to give up on Eagle County.”

Decisive margins

At the county level, Democrats won every single race, with incumbent county commissioners Kathy Chandler-Henry and Matt Scherr claiming decisive victories over Tom Crisofulli and Jennifer Woolley. Chandler-Henry won nearly 63% of the District 2 vote while Scherr won nearly 61% of the vote in District 1.

“I just think the electors saw the great job they did during COVID-19,” Decker said. “There’s rarely been a period in our county’s history that’s demanded more on a public health scale. They were up to the challenge. That’s what got them reelected.”

Even more decisive: Heidi McCollum, running for district attorney, and Dylan Roberts, running for District 26, claiming uncontested wins.

McCollum becomes the first female to ever hold the top prosecutor’s role in the 5th Judicial District, which encompasses Clear Creek, Eagle, Lake and Summit counties. Roberts said it was a relatively stress-free election night with his win all but assured.

“Well, I’m very happy and heartened to receive the confidence of Eagle and Routt counties to serve them in a second term,” he said. “I’m looking forward to getting back to work at the Capitol on the economy and the coronavirus.”

County voters also overwhelmingly supported Democrats Diane Mitsch Bush and Mayling Simpson.

Mitsch Bush conceded the 3rd Congressional District race to Boebert early Wednesday with Boebert claiming 51% of the vote in the district, but in Eagle, County Mitsch Bush won 60% of local votes.

Simpson lost to Republican incumbent Joyce Rankin in the race for the state board of education in the 3rd Congressional District but she won 57% of the local vote in Eagle County. Democrat Joe Neguse also won 65% of Eagle County votes en route to decisively beating Republican Charlie Winn in the 2nd Congressional District to hold onto his seat. Neguse claimed nearly 61% of the votes in the district.

And Democrat John Hickenlooper, the former governor, also cleaned up in Eagle County in his Senate race with Cory Gardner, claiming 62% of local votes to Gardner’s 36%. Statewide, Hickenlooper won 54% of votes.

Not howling over wolves

Colorado’s wolf reintroduction ballot initiative remains too close to call, with the race still within 1 percentage point with votes still being counted Wednesday. Wolf supporters were outpolling those opposed to Proposition 114 by 1,461,335 votes to 1,445,891 statewide, but in Eagle County, the initiative was losing with nearly 54% of local voters opposed to the initiative.

Colorado voters on Tuesday approved Amendment B, a repeal of the state’s Gallagher Amendment, by a 57% to 43% margin. In Eagle County, voters approved the amendment by nearly 64 percent, but voters in Eagle and Avon also voted down local Gallagher questions.

A win for election transparency

If there was one thing that both parties could agree on Wednesday in the aftermath of Election Day, it was that Eagle County and Colorado knows how to hold safe, transparent mail-in elections.

Ferry praised Eagle County Clerk and Recorder Regina O’Brien.

“We’re lucky to live in Eagle County,” she said. “Our elections are honest, and well-run. (O’Brien) is as good a clerk and recorder as there is. It’s a relief to know our votes are counted the way they’re supposed to be.”

O’Brien, reached while driving back from the El Jebel voting location on Wednesday, said Tuesday’s voting for those who didn’t turn in ballots early was “paced but not crazy.”

As of Monday night, 73 percent of active registered voters had already turned in their ballots,

“That’s really good,” O’Brien said. “Typically, 30-40 percent of voters vote on Election Day.”

She added: “It was a very clean election. I was very proud of Eagle County from voters, election judges, poll watchers in every facet of the election process. Everybody was respectful, enthusiastic and really pleasant. It was a very positive experience all around.”

As for turnout, O’Brien said the ballots that have already been counted constitute 85% of active registered voters and that with ballots still set to be scanned up to nine days after the election, the turnout might yet break a record for a presidential election year.

The 2008 election had 91% turnout, followed by 94% in 2012 and 83% in 2016.

Chris Freud and Scott Miller contributed reporting.

The last time Colorado Democrats swept everything in an election was 1936. The parallels are striking.

Astruggling economy. A looming debate over packing the U.S. Supreme Court. An anti-immigrant effort to block the southern border. A Democratic landslide.

This is politics in 2020 in Colorado, but it was also politics in 1936, a symmetry that goes to prove the aphorism commonly (and probably mistakenly) attributed to Mark Twain that history may not repeat but it does rhyme.

For the first time in 84 years in Colorado and for only the fourth time in state history, Democrats have won … everything. The governor’s mansion. The secretary of state’s, treasurer’s and attorney general’s offices. Both chambers of the state legislature. The balance of power in the state’s U.S House of Representatives delegation. Both seats in the U.S. Senate. And the state’s electoral votes for president.

Read more via The Colorado Sun.

Gypsum residents want to control their tobacco tax funds

In 2019, Eagle County voters resoundingly passed a tax on tobacco and nicotine products. On Tuesday, Gypsum voters said they wanted that money to be spent at home.

Election results reported by the Eagle County clerk at 9 p.m. showed 1,879 (57%) Gypsum residents favored Question 2D. The measure had 1,446 (43%) votes in opposition.

Ballot question 2D asked Gypsum voters to allow the town to levy and collect Eagle County’s approved $4 per pack/40% nicotine product tax. In the ballot measure’s TABOR notice, the argument for the request noted it would allow “the collection of the taxes currently levied by the county to be collected by the town of Gypsum so that they may be allocated and spent in the town of Gypsum at the discretion of the Gypsum Town Council. Taxes will not increase but your tax dollars, collected in your community, will be able to work in your community for the needs of your community.”

There were no TABOR written comments submitted in opposition to the ballot measure.

Hardy, Phillips, Andrade claim seats on Avon Town Council

In Avon, with three town council seats up for grabs, voters have sent a message that they like the status quo with current Councilmember Amy Phillips and Planning Commission Chair Lindsay Hardy tallying the most votes.

Russell “RJ” Andrade looks likely to take the third seat. Phillips had 834 votes as of 9 p.m., Hardy had 838, and Andrade had 756. Trailing were candidates Missy Erickson (693), Martin Golembiewski (612) and Kevin Hyatt (559).

Phillips, who was threatened with a recall in October, said Avon voters showed on Tuesday that they do not wish to recall her.

“The real story is, why is anyone giving oxygen to the recall?” Phillips said.

Hardy said she worked hard campaigning over the last few months.

“I didn’t knock on doors because of COVID,” Hardy said. “I put letters on doors … my campaign was mostly word of mouth.”

Andrade said he had an advantage in also running in 2018.

“That helped,” he said. “Although it was definitely a lot different than last time, not getting out there face to face with people as much.”

‘Nothing but great work’

Phillips said she is looking forward to serving with Hardy and Andrade, assuming the early results hold.

“I think the new council will be doing nothing but great work,” Phillips said.

Hardy said she’s excited about getting to represent her demographic — renters in their 30s who live and work in Avon.

“I think my age group is under-represented, I think renters are under-represented,” she said.

Hardy lives in Sunridge apartments, on the west end of Avon, and works in an office above Vin 48 in the town core. She says she loves walking to work, and looks forward to working on walkability issues in town.

“I think there’s more opportunities to get people through town, whether it be on bikes, or by bus,” she said.

Andrade said he enjoys following Avon council meetings, reading the packet materials before the council meeting takes place and digging into the issues.

“I want to show my dedication by putting the time and effort in,” he said.

Rankin holds lead over Simpson in state board of education race

Incumbent Joyce Rankin, a Republican from Carbondale, held her lead over challenger Mayling Simpson, a Democrat from Steamboat Springs, in the 3rd Congressional District race for the Colorado State Board of Education.

Rankin had captured 54.3% of the vote, while Simpson earned 45.7%.

In Eagle County’s early election results, Simpson was ahead of Rankin with 57% of local votes compared to Rankin’s 43%.

While the race had not yet been called, Simpson was prepared with a concession statement.

“It was an honor and a privilege to run for the state board of education for CD3,” she said. “It was a team effort, and we did really well.”

At the Routt County Democrats virtual watch party, Simpson expressed gratitude for everyone who supported her.

“To say it was heartwarming is an understatement,” Simpson said. “It made my heart swell to see how supportive people were. I’m delighted with how well I did.”

Rankin said she would wait until the results were further along to comment, and that she was more focused on her husband’s much closer race.

Rankin’s husband, Bob Rankin, is running for reelection for the Colorado State Senate in District 8 and is currently trailing his Democratic opponent Kari Hanlon.

Joyce Rankin also commended Simpson for her hard work and for a civil campaign.

The 3rd Congressional District is located in the western and southern region of the state, and includes Alamosa, Archuleta, Conejos, Costilla, Custer, Delta, Dolores, Garfield, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Huerfano, Jackson, La Plata, Lake, Mesa, Mineral, Moffat, Montezuma, Montrose, Ouray, Pitkin, Pueblo, Rio Blanco, Rio Grande, Routt, Saguache, San Juan, and San Miguel counties. It also includes a portion of Eagle County.

Rankin, 73, has held the seat since being appointed in August 2015 and is seeking a second term. Board members serve six-year terms.

Rankin taught elementary and middle school and served as an elementary principal. She has a master’s degree in elementary education with an administrative credential.

Simpson, 74, was elected to the Steamboat Springs Board of Education in 2017. She retired in 2019 when her husband accepted a position at the Virginia Military Institute.

Simpson has a doctorate in anthropology and also worked as a teacher at the high school and college level.

She spent most of her 40-year career abroad, living in eight different countries and working in public health and humanitarian assistance.

Simpson served as an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and was senior environmental health advisor at the World Health Organization.

Her priority as a candidate for the state board was to be a voice for rural districts, as well as improving funding for schools and teacher salaries, raising graduation rates and expanding vocational training. She was also focused on ensuring the voices of teachers were heard at the state level.

Rankin’s priorities have focused on reading and improving reading instruction, specifically work being done through the READ — Reading to Ensure Academic Development — Act.

The READ Act requires benchmark testing of students in preschool through third grade to assess literacy skills, focused on the goal that all students will be reading by third grade.

Rankin also spoke about the opportunity the pandemic brought in terms of improving online education.

While a school district’s decisions are primarily made at a local level, the state board has been providing support for schools during the pandemic.

The board also holds schools accountable for poor performance and handles other administrative functions, including appointing the commissioner of education.

One of the primary divisions between the two candidates was in allowing taxpayer dollars to fund private schools through a voucher system. Simpson took a strong position against pulling away any funding from public schools to give to private schools.

Rankin supports the voucher system and allowing private education companies to step in to manage school districts that are failing.

These results are preliminary and not official.

Eagle County Commissioner incumbents Chandler-Henry, Scherr poised for reelection

Totals compiled by 9 p.m. Tuesday night indicate that Eagle County voters reelected Kathy Chandler-Henry of Eagle and Matt Scherr of Minturn to their seats on the Board of County Commissioners.

In the 9 p.m. results released by the Eagle County Clerk and Recorder — representing 27,510 ballots cast of the county’s 33,967 active voters — show Chandler-Henry tallied 16,482 votes (63%) to challenger Tom Crisofulli’s 9,744 votes (37%). Scherr was up with 15,993 votes (61%) to challenger Jennifer Woolley’s 10,233 votes (39%).

Chili and pacing

“It is a pretty good lead, I will just keep my fingers my figures crossed,” said Chandler-Henry, shortly after the first round of Eagle County results were posted.

In an election season that was marked by nasty rhetoric nationwide, Chandler-Henry noted hers was a “congenial, well-mannered race.”

“It was a very civil campaign, focused on the issues,” she said.

This was Chandler-Henry’s third campaign for the office. She was appointed to the District 2 seat when former Commissioner Jon Stavney resigned his seat. She initially ran to fill out the remaining two years of that term before her successful run four years ago.

Tuesday, for her final campaign, she spent the day watching the voter turnout numbers climb in Eagle County and kept herself busy. “I made a pot of chili and took the dog for a walk and spent the day pacing,” she said.

“I think people were motivated to get out and vote this year,” she added. “We will get back to work tomorrow and we have plenty of  work yet to do with climate change and COVID-19 and housing.”

Work ahead

Like Chandler-Henry, District 1 Commissioner Scherr was appointed to his seat. He took office when Jill Ryan resigned in 2019 to take the top job with the Colorado Department of Health and Environment.

Scherr spent the day in his office and doing last minute campaigning.

“People were asking me today, ‘Aren’t you worried? I said no, because it is it what it is at this point,” he said.

Also like Chandler-Henry, Scherr complimented the character of the local race.

“Jennifer has been nothing but gracious and kind,” he said. “Given what we are seeing on the nation level, it is much more respectful at the local level where you are running on issues.”

On the subject of issues, Scherr noted one of Woolley’s primary platform points was an argument that the county commissioners need to be more available to the community at large.

“I totally agree with her. She is right. We need to figure out how to engage, locally, better,” said Scherr. “I agreed we have to have those conversations about taxation and health care and all those larger problems that aren’t within our scope, but are certainly within our influence.”

As he settled into to watch the rest of the evening’s election results — both local races and national ones — Scherr said he and Chandler-Henry recently spoke about Eagle County’s role in moving forward past Election Day.

 “What is our role in that? How do we keep that momentum because there is a lot we have to do,” said Scherr. “There are issues we need to stop talking about and start getting things done.”

Rep. Joe Neguse re-elected to Congress for second term

Rep. Joe Neguse has won his re-election bid for the U.S. House of Representatives in Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District, the Associated Press reports.

Neguse took on Charlie Winn, a Boulder Republican. Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District includes Boulder County and parts of Eagle and Summit counties.

Neguse took over the seat from Governor Jared Polis, who held it from 2009 to 2018.

Celebrating his re-election on Tuesday, Neguse told the Vail Daily his freshman term in the U.S. House of Representatives was busy, but impactful.

“We had no shortage of challenges,” he said. “It was a trying time for our country and our community … culminating with the coronavirus pandemic and now the brutal wildfire season.”

‘Follow the science’

Neguse said discussions with residents in the 2nd Congressional District will need to continue in the months to come, as some of the largest wildfires in recorded history continue to burn in Colorado.

When it comes to tackling wildfire mitigation, “We have to be prepared to follow the science, wherever that leads,” Neguse said. “Sometimes that leads to more uncomfortable conversations — I’m all about making progress where we can.”

Neguse, who is 36 and the youngest member of Colorado’s Congressional District, said when he arrived in Congress, he put his “foot on the gas.”

He introduced 38 bills in the 116th Congress — the most of any freshman member, and served as a vice-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and the vice-chair of the Medicare-for-All Caucus.

Neguse was also elected by his peers to be the Freshman Co-Representative to Leadership and earlier this year, he earned the national Town Hall Project’s “Spirit of Service” award for holding more town halls than any other freshman of Congress in the first quarter of the 116th Congress.

“It was a very, very, very busy two years,” he said. “And I think the next two years will be just as busy.”

Neguse described the last two years as the honor of his life.

“I look forward to continuing our work together to lower healthcare costs, combat climate change and recover from the terrible wildfires our community has experienced, recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and more,” he said. “I am deeply grateful to the people of our district for giving me the opportunity to work on these critical issues, and I pledge to work tirelessly each and every day on their behalf, fighting for the Colorado values we share.”

Family support

In addition to being busy with Congress, Neguse was also busy as the parent of a newborn. His daughter, Natalie, was two months old when he took office.

Neguse said he has benefitted from the support of his wife, Andrea, and his family.

Neguse’s parents fled Eritrea, a war-torn country in East-Africa, nearly 40 years ago, settling in Colorado, where Neguse and his sister were raised.

Neguse worked as an attorney and a civil leader before becoming Colorado’s first African-American Congressperson, and the only person of color in the state’s Federal delegation.

“I said from Day 1 that if I were given the opportunity to represent our community in Congress, that I would not take that for granted, and I would work hard every single day to serve our community,” he said. “We are going to keep our foot on the gas.”

Heidi McCollum makes history with win in 5th Judicial District race

Heidi McCollum spent Election Day at the office. The assistant district attorney was in court Tuesday prosecuting the first-degree murder trial of Leigha Ackerson.

On Tuesday evening, when polls closed at 7 p.m., McCollum was elected as the new district attorney, becoming the first female in the 5th Judicial District to hold the top prosecutor’s job.

Her win in the race was all but secured in the June 30 Democratic primary when she decisively beat Braden Angel. No Republican entered the field for the primary.

“Having grown up here, knowing this community, and having seen it grow over the years, it gives me a tremendous sense of pride to be able to serve it in the capacity as a district attorney,” she said. “I have family that lives throughout the district, I’m very proud of my Colorado roots, and I’m very honored to be able to hold this position.”

McCollum has spent most of her life in Eagle County. She’s a graduate of Eagle Valley High School who went to Mesa State College before attending law school at Chapman University in California. She interned with the 5th Judicial District after law school before going into private practice for a few years. She has been the assistant district attorney under Bruce Brown since 2013 and during that time has prosecuted some of Eagle County’s most high-profile cases, including the Ackerson case, and the cases of Richard Miller and Allison Marcus, the couple convicted of starting the massive Lake Christine Fire.

McCollum lives in Eagle, right next to her parents. She said she ran for the top job in the district because she loves serving the community that raised her and she’s passionate about fighting for justice on the behalf of victims.

The sprawling 5th Judicial District encompasses Clear Creek, Eagle, Lake and Summit counties.

McCollum said she never set out to be a trailblazer, but she’s proud to make history.

“More women are running for DA positions across Colorado than ever,” she said. “My whole response to what do I think about being the first woman elected to this position in this district, I would make the same comment about all the women running across the state: It’s about time …”

Tom Lotshaw contributed reporting.

Election Day in Eagle County: Here’s a quick look at how you can still vote

This election season is down to its final hours. If you haven’t voted yet, there’s still time, with one exception.

That exception is the U.S. Mail. It’s really, really too late to mail a ballot. Mailed ballots must be delivered by 7 p.m. on Election Day. Postmarks don’t count.

The good news is there are still ways to have your ballot counted.

If you have received a ballot but haven’t yet dropped it off, you can do that at one of six 24-hour drop boxes in the county. Those boxes are in Avon, Edwards, Eagle, Gypsum, El Jebel and Basalt.

Ballot boxes are also located in any of the county’s voting centers. Those centers are in Vail, Avon, Eagle and El Jebel. Residents can vote in person at those centers if they prefer not to use the drop boxes.

If you’re a college student or working outside the county, you can drop a ballot at any county drop box anywhere in Colorado. Those ballots will be delivered to Eagle County and counted.

Shortly after 7 p.m. today, voters will see the first wave of unofficial election results on the Eagle County website or Eagle County Clerk and Recorder Regina O’Brien’s Twitter page. Votes that have come in so far have already been signature-verified and are ready to count.

And there are a lot of votes that have already been verified.

The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office Monday released a tally of votes already received either by mail or in ballot drop boxes. The numbers are remarkable.

As of Nov. 1, the state had recorded more than 2.5 million ballots. That’s just more than 68% of the state’s total of “active” voters. In Eagle County, nearly 23,000 votes were received as of Nov. 1, just less than 67% of the active voters in the county.

In Eagle County, roughly 7,000 ballots were received between Oct. 26 and Nov. 1.

All those voters are probably paying the most attention to the top of the ballot, since this is a presidential election year.

As you probably know, President Donald Trump, a Republican, is seeking re-election. He’s challenged by Democrat Joe Biden, who was vice president from 2009-2017.

In addition to the two major-party candidates, there are 19 other people on the ballot seeking the presidency, including Libertarian Jo Jorgensen to Prohibition Party candidate Phil Collins to unaffiliated candidate Kanye West.

Colorado also has a U.S. Senate race this year, with former Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, facing incumbent Cory Gardner, a Republican.

Eagle County is in parts of two congressional districts. In House District 2, incumbent Joe Neguse, a Democrat, is being challenged by Republican Charlie Winn.

House District 3 is an open seat, with Republican newcomer Lauren Boebert and Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush, a former state representative, competing for the chance to represent of the country’s geographically largest congressional districts.

Local races

In addition to state and federal offices, there are several local and regional races to decide.

Eagle County Commissioners serve one of three districts, but are elected by all county voters.

In District 2, incumbent commissioner Kathy Chandler-Henry, a Democrat, is seeking another term. She’s being challenged by Thomas Crisofulli.

District 1 incumbent Matt Scherr, also a Democrat, is being challenged by Jennifer Woolley.

Regionally, State Rep. Dylan Roberts, a Democrat, is running unopposed for another term to represent the district that covers Eagle and Routt counties.

Heidi McCollum, also a Democrat, is running unopposed for 5th Judicial District Attorney. That district covers Eagle, Summit, Lake and Clear Creek counties.

Current District Attorney Bruce Brown can’t run again due to state term limit laws.

In Avon, voters will elect three members of that Town Council in a nonpartisan election. Candidates are Missy Ericson, Lindsay Hardy, Russell “RJ” Andrade, Kevin Hyatt, Martin Golembiewski and incumbent Amy Phillips.

Ballot issues

There are a number of state and local ballot issues this year.

Among the biggest of those issues is a multiple-government effort to essentially repeal the 1982 Gallagher Amendment. That amendment, passed in 1982, set the share of local property tax collections between residential and commercial property.

Commercial property must always account for 55% of the state’s property tax collections. The state doesn’t have a dedicated property tax, but towns, counties, school districts and countless special districts do.

The Colorado Legislature this year referred Amendment B to the ballot. That amendment repeals Gallagher, but freezes residential property assessment rates at the current 7.15%.

The towns of Vail, Avon and Eagle, along with Eagle County and the Eagle River Fire Protection District, are asking similar questions. The fire district — which serves the county from the top of Tennessee Pass to Wolcott, excluding Vail, is holding its own election. Voters who didn’t mail back those separate ballots can drop them at the district’s administrative office, located at 1050 Edwards Village Boulevard in Edwards.

The town of Eagle is also asking voters to change the existing lodging tax from $4 per day per occupied room to 6% of the cost of the room rate.

The town of Gypsum is asking voters to impose a town tax on tobacco and nicotine products — except stop-smoking aids. The town tax would replace exactly Eagle County’s current tax of $4 per pack on cigarettes and 40% on other tobacco and nicotine products.

The Eagle County School district is asking voters to extend a mill levy override approved in 2016.

The money from the extension will help the district attract and retain staff, maintain mental health counseling and maintain music, art, physical education and similar services.

It’s a long ballot, so take your time. You have until 7 p.m. to drop it off.

Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at smiller@vaildaily.com.