Eagle County incumbent Bettis wins coroner race | VailDaily.com

Eagle County incumbent Bettis wins coroner race

Kara Bettis
Zach Mahone |


Kara Bettis (D) (incumbent): 8,017

Sue Franciose (R): 7,222

As of 11 p.m.

EAGLE COUNTY — Kara Bettis is still Eagle County’s coroner.

In the local races that showed the sharpest elbows, Bettis topped challenger Sue Franciose.

Bettis, a Democrat, won election in 2002 over another deputy coroner and ran unopposed in 2006 and 2010.

“I’m thankful and honored that Eagle County has chosen me,” Bettis said. “I appreciate all the support I have received over the last 12 years, and for all the years to come. I appreciate Sue for running and for the passion she has for the coroner’s position.”

Franciose, a Republican, served with former coroner Donna Barnes and as one of Bettis’ deputy coroners for a year and a half until she resigned to help a friend battle cancer.

“I appreciate the opportunity of participating in the election process,” Franciose said. “I respect the voters’ choice and want to thank those who supported me.”

During the campaign debates, Franciose questioned Bettis’ dedication to organ and tissue donation programs. Bettis countered that like most coroners across the state, she handles it through local hospitals.

The sharply worded debates in the race raised some eyebrows.

“I didn’t like the attack ads that (Sue Franciose) had,” said Paul Bass, of Vail. “That’s not how a coroner’s race should be, so I voted for the incumbent.”

Coroners are paid $44,500 annually. It is set by the state Legislature and they probably won’t be getting a raise in 2015.

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