Minturn mayor’s seat only contested race in Eagle County municipal elections
January 23, 2018
EAGLE COUNTY — Following the candidate petition deadline on Monday, Jan. 22, the upcoming municipal elections in Eagle, Gypsum and Minturn have produced only one contested race in all three communities.
• Minturn — In Minturn, incumbent Mayor Matt Scherr will face former Mayor Hawkeye Flaherty for a four-year team. But while there is a contested election for the mayor's seat in Minturn, there aren't enough candidates to fill all of the open seats on the Town Council. Minturn has five council seats up for election — three for four-year terms and two for two-year teams. However, only four council candidates handed in nomination petitions by the Monday, Jan. 22, deadline.
The candidates in Minturn are Ben Nedeau, Brian Eggleton, John Widerman and Earle Bidez. Following the election, a fifth person will be appointed to the open seat on the council. Terry Armistead is the only current council member not up for re-election on April 3.
• Eagle — There are three openings for the April 3 Eagle Town Board election, and three current members of the Eagle Town Board are the only candidates.
Incumbents Scott Turnipseed, Matt Solomon and Andy Jessen will each serve four-year board terms.
• Gypsum — Like its neighbor to the east, the town of Gypsum produced just enough candidates to fill all of the open seats.
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Current Gypsum Mayor Steve Carver will run unopposed in April. Incumbents Pam Schultz and Chris Estes will be joined by newcomer Karen Sheaffer. Incumbent member Dick Mayne is not seeking re-election.
The mayor and Town Council seats in Gypsum will all be four-year terms.
While the deadline has passed for candidates' names to appear on the ballot in the three municipal elections, hopefuls can still run as write-in candidates. It is a rare occurrence to have an official write-in candidate on a ballot, but before a community can cancel an election because there are not enough candidates for contested races, the write-in deadline must pass.
The deadline to file as an official write-in candidate is Monday, Jan. 29. A prospective write-in contender must declare his or her intention to run for office and sign an official form to become a candidate. While write-in candidates are legitimate contenders for a seat, their names do not appear on the ballot.
Minturn Town Clerk John Brunvand noted that random names written in on a ballot are not valid votes.
"A random name doesn't get counted," he said. "There is no way to be in the election after the write-in deadline."
For additional information about the upcoming municipal elections, contact Eagle Town Clerk Jenny Rakow at 970-328-6354, Gypsum Town Clerk Danette Schlegel at 970-524-7514, or Minturn Town Clerk John Brunvand at 970-827-5645.