Election results locally: Eagle County voters blushing blue for Democrats
How we voted:
Hillary Clinton (D): 13,948
Donald Trump (R): 8,927
Michael Bennet (D): 13,570
Darryl Glenn (R): 8,716
Jared Polis (D): 3,924
Nicholas Morse (R): 1,921
Gail Schwartz (D): 9,523
Scott Tipton (R): 7,531
State House District 26
Diane Mitsch Bush (D): 14,080
Michael Cacioppo (R): 9,291
Bruce Brown (D): 10,199
Bruce Carey (R): 10,325
Jill Ryan (D): 13,799
Michael Dunahay (R): 9,514
Kath Chandler-Henry (D): 12,595
Rick Beveridge (R): 10,861
Teak Simonton (D): 14,678
Mari Renzelman (R): 9,042
EAGLE COUNTY — While Republicans regained control of Washington D.C. after Tuesday night’s election, Eagle County is proving to be as blue as ever.
Even though Donald Trump prevailed for the Republican Party over Democrat Hillary Clinton for the presidency, Eagle County voters preferred the latter, with 56 percent of votes going to Clinton, 36 percent going to Trump and Libertarian Gary Johnson earning 5 percent.
The two Democrats running again for seats on the board of county commissioners won over their Republican counterparts, and Eagle County voted blue for U.S. senator and both state and federal representatives.
“We’re slowly becoming the Boulder annex, I think,” said Kaye Ferry, chair of the Eagle County Republicans. “At this point, it’s very difficult to be running for office in Eagle County if you’re a Republican.”
While Ferry and other Eagle County Republicans were celebrating Trump’s success into the wee hours of Wednesday morning, locally, they were struggling.
“When I first got here, it was absolutely red before,” Ferry said. “We have all of these East Coast liberals that move here, and they bring all of their bad habits with them.”
Democrat Kathy Chandler-Henry, who was re-elected as county commissioner, said it’s not necessarily all about the liberals.
“It’s hard to say because there’s such a large number of unaffiliated voters, so it’s a littler harder to predict which way they are going to lean,” she said.
Chandler-Henry said she knocked on more than 1,000 doors this election season, a tried and true method for the Democratic Party.
“It’s a lot of miles on your feet,” she said, “but it’s a great way to get out.”
The last Republican to be voted county commissioner in Eagle County was Tom Stone, who served from 1998 to 2006.
Republican Scott Tipton had a substantial win over Democrat Gail Schwartz for U.S. House District 3, but Schwartz earned more votes than Tipton here in Eagle County.
“I was disappointed not to see Gail Schwartz move forward, but locally in the county we were quite happy,” Chandler-Henry said.
Democrat Jared Polis wasn’t seriously challenged in his run for re-election in U.S. House District 2, and also carried Eagle County’s vote.
On the national scale, Tuesday night’s election was a success for Republicans.
“The main win that we had was that we saved the Supreme Court,” Ferry said. “That was the number one concern most people had.”
The Libertarian party led by Gary Johnson received more than 1,300 votes in Eagle County, just more than 5 percent of the votes. That number is up from 2012, when Johnson received 228 votes in Eagle County, 1.3 percent.
Eagle County Clerk & Recorder Teak Simonton said this was “by far” the best turnout she has seen in her 16 years in the office. More than 80 percent of the 30,000 ballots sent out were returned.
“It was a huge turnout,” Simonton said.
From the presidential election to local elected positions, almost 26,000 people voted in Eagle County.
“There’s a lot of people passionate about it on both sides this year, so the fact that people are getting out and voting is awesome,” said Jason Hamrick, of Edwards.
Now, the country moves forward with Trump as president and the county continues its liberal ways.
“I’m glad to hear both candidates talking about moving forward together and all of the nasty rhetoric seems to have disappeared,” Chandler-Henry said.
Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.
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