Vail votes in Foley, Donovan, Tjossem, Newbury
VAIL, Colorado – If there’s one thing apparent about Tuesday night’s Vail Town Council election results it’s that incumbent Kevin Foley is a popular man in Vail.The longtime Vail resident got more than half of the 1,001 total votes, with 524. “It feels good. It took 14 years to get back here – I got the most votes in ’95 and I’m back on top again,” Foley said. ” It means a lot to me. It means that what I’ve been saying has resonated with voters.” Susie Tjoseem, who won a seat with the third highest number of votes, said she wasn’t surprised that Foley cleaned up with votes. She stood outside campaigning with him and other candidates all day Tuesday and said practically every voter waved and said hello to Foley – so many that Tjossem was starting to lose confidence in herself, she said. “He’s for the people and not for all the other stuff,” said Dennis Foley, Kevin Foley’s brother, from the victory party at Bart & Yeti’s in Vail. “It’s good to hear he got the most votes. He’s a local legend – so many people respect him.”Foley had 77 more votes than the second-place candidate, Kerry Donovan. Donovan, a Vail native, came in just nine votes ahead of Tjossem, who came in 14 votes ahead of incumbent Kim Newbury. All four candidates made it onto the council but Newbury will serve a two-year term. Donovan, both of whose parents have served on the Vail Town Council, was holding back tears as she heard the news she had won.”It’s amazing. I’m overwhelmingly honored,” Donovan said. “People entrust you with their town and that’s a spectacular feeling. With the breadth of candidates running, to even be in the top four is stunning.”Pete Ventres, a voter who has lived in Vail for 35 years, said he voted for Donovan because he thinks and hopes she can put the same heart into the town as her mother, Diana Donovan, did. He said Diana Donovan researched every decision carefully, and the town needs people like that, he said.Tjossem was excited to win after a loss in 2007 and a lot of hard work ever since. “I’m so honored to have the vote of confidence of so many people,” Tjossem said. “We’ve got a lot of work ahead.”The five candidates who didn’t make the cut were all close-calls, too. Town Clerk Lorelei Donaldson said she couldn’t believe how close the votes were for everyone.Incumbent Mark Gordon was surprised at the results Tuesday night, on which he waited for results with candidates Tjossem and Newbury and other locals. Gordon said he congratulates the winners and looks forward to being a citizen activist.”I look forward to seeing how they function as a council,” Gordon said. “I’m happy for the winners.”Newbury said she feels she could have served with any of the nine candidates who ran for council and feels really thankful she made the cut. “I knew it would be a close race,” Newbury said. “It’s exciting to have four women on the council.”Candidate Mike Charles, who came in last with 267 votes, agreed there were quality candidates and said he wasn’t disappointed.”My commitment is to the town, and the town hasn’t been let down,” Charles said.Voter turnout, with 1,001 votes, was 34 percent, higher than in the 2007 election when there was a total of 946 ballots cast for a 24 percent total turnout.The record turnout for a town council race is 36 percent. The record turnout for a town election was 39 pecent, for the 2006 vote on the Solaris renovation.Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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