Eight votes separate race for county assessor | VailDaily.com

Eight votes separate race for county assessor

Veronica Whitney

The race was too close to call Tuesday night, with an eight-vote difference between incumbent Jody Caruthers and Joyce Mack of Edwards. With all 26 of Eagle County’s precincts reporting, unofficial results gave 636 votes to Caruthers and 644 to Mack.

“I didn’t think it was going to be this close,” Mack said late Tuesday night. “If I get six votes tomorrow, I’ll be the winner. I’m going to go to bed.”

Mack would have won the race Tuesday if it were not for the provisional ballots used this year in Colorado for the first time, said Eagle County Clerk and Recorder Sara Fisher. Before declaring the winner today at 1 p.m., county officials must verify the eligibility of the provisional ballots before election judges can count the verified ballots.

Because no other party fielded candidates for the race, today’s results will leave the winner unopposed and ready to take office in January.

“I’m disappointed, because I have a lot of support out there,” said Caruthers, who waited patiently at the Eagle County Building until 10 p.m., when the final results were released.

The race for county assessor was the only contested race in Eagle County.

The county Assessor, lists and values all property within the county. Taxing entities then use this information to calculate property taxes.

Caruthers, the current assessor, won the office in 1998 defeating incumbent Allen Black. She also served as Eagle County’s assessor for a term in 1987 through 1991.

Mack has worked for 12 years with water authorities assessing tap fees for metropolitan districts – including Arrowhead, Eagle-Vail and Edwards.

Whoever is announced the winner of today’s primary will have to deal with a staff of 23 and about 34,000 taxable properties in Eagle County.

Almost 1,700 voters of both parties went to the polls in Eagle County Tuesday, less than 10 percent of the 18,452 registered voters in Eagle County.

Three Democrat provisional ballots also will be verified today.

Voters also showed support for candidates in uncontested races. Incumbent Tom Stone, a Republican, got 951 votes. His opponent in the county commissioner race, Democrat Gerald Sandberg, received 335 votes, unofficially.

“Political party supporters also vote to show support for

their candidates,” Fisher said.

Statewide, former state Republican Party chairman Bob Beauprez beat out the scandal-tainted lieutenant governor Tuesday to win the GOP nod for a new congressional seat that could prove key in the struggle for the U.S. House.

With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Lt. Gov Joe Rogers placed a distant fourth with 13 percent, behind Beauprez’s 38 percent; 30 percent for Rick O’Donnell, former director of the Governor’s Office of Policy and Initiatives; and 19 percent for state Sen. Sam Zakhem.

Rogers, who campaigned for 72 hours straight, left his headquarters when it became apparent he was trailing. “”He’s out of commission. I think he’s done for the evening,” staffer Kathy Huey said.

Beauprez will face off in November against Democrat Mike Feeley, who defeated Jefferson County District Attorney Dave Thomas.

Republicans also chose Boulder County treasurer Sandy Hume to take on Democratic Rep. Mark Udall.

In the contests for the University of Colorado Board of Regents races for the 2nd Congressional District, the GOP’s Regent Jim Martin defeated engineering professor Howard Wachtel by a margin of 62 percent to 38 percent. In the Democratic contest, former Boulder City Councilwoman Cindy Carlisle defeated incumbent Regent Bob Sievers, 67 percent to 33 percent.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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