Matt Scherr wins Eagle County commissioner seat vacated by Jill Ryan | VailDaily.com

Matt Scherr wins Eagle County commissioner seat vacated by Jill Ryan

Special to the Daily by Emily Boyd

EDWARDS — It took five rounds of voting, but the Eagle County Democrats selected Minturn Mayor Matt Scherr as the new Eagle County commissioner on Tuesday night.

Scherr will take his oath of office on Tuesday, Feb. 19, prior to the annual State of the County presentation.

The final round of voting gave members of the Eagle County Democrats Vacancy Committee a choice between Scherr and Elyse Howard.

Throughout the evening Scherr collected the most votes on each of the four preliminary ballots but he did not collect a simple majority until the final ballot. The “exhaustive process” dropped the lowest vote-getter on each ballot and the remaining candidates continued on the ballot.

On Tuesday night, out of 44 eligible vacancy committee members, 37 participated in person and two members from the Roaring Fork Valley participated remotely because if the rockslide in Glenwood Canyon. After each round of voting, the candidate with the fewest number of votes was dropped from the next ballot.

A candidate forum preceded the voting, which gave the prospective commissioners the opportunity to weigh in on topics ranging from health care to housing. Event moderator Jon Stavney noted all seven candidates represented the next generation of home-grown Democratic leaders. “I can already see tonight Eagle County really can’t go wrong,” he said.

Harnessing relationships

In his final appeal to the vacancy committee before the voting began, Scherr said he wanted to enable the potential he sees in Eagle County.

“I am excited to harness the relationships I have spent so much time creating,” he said.

Willy Powell, who spent 32 years working as a town manager in Eagle and Minturn, officially nominated Scherr to serve as commissioner. Powell described Scherr as compassionate, collaborative and passionate.

“Really good decisions are made when Matt is the leader,” said Powell.

Seven candidate field

Even before the voting start, one candidate was out of the running. Earlier Tuesday Albert Ewing, a long-time resident of Eagle-Vail and the president of Ewing Engineering, withdrew his name from consideration. The remaining seven candidates were:

Megan Gilman: Since 2011, Gilman has been a member of the Holy Cross Energy Board of Directors. For the past seven years, she has also served as the Holy Cross Energy representative for the Colorado Rural Electric Association Board of Directors.

Dylan Heaney: An area manager for Beaver Creek Resort, Heaney has also worked various roles for Vail Resorts retail operations since 2007. He is a Vail Mountain Rescue volunteer and a member of the Vail Resorts Epic Promise Committee.

Elyse Howard: Since 2005, Howard has been the director of development for Habitat for Humanity Vail Valley. She formerly worked for the Vail Valley Chamber & Tourism Bureau and for the 2002 Colorado Democratic Coordinated Campaign.

Kim Langmaid: Currently a member of the Vail Town Council, Langmaid is the founder of Walking Mountains Science Center in Avon. Since the center’s inception in 1997, she has worked various management positions and she is currently the vice president and director of sustainability programs for Walking Mountains.

Meighen Lovelace: As the operator of Mountain Harvest Consulting, Lovelace has worked with Live Well Colorado, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, National Farmers Union and the Colorado Health Foundation on numerous state and federal policy initiatives.

Claire Noble: Currently serving as the program manager for the Vail Symposium, Noble is also a co-host of Good Morning Vail on TV8 and a contributing writer for the Vail Daily. She is a former U.S. Air Force officer who has worked as a trainer, designer and instructor.

Matt Scherr: Currently serving as mayor for the town of Minturn. Since 2012, Scherr has operated Leff Field Solutions, a small organization consulting firm. From 2004 to 2012 he was the executive director of the Eagle ValleAlliancese for Sustainability.