Longtime GarCo commissioner wins primary; two advance in PitCo race

Jun 28, 2016

Election volunteers Pam Cunningham and Pitkin County Commissioner Patti Clapper count ballots on Tuesday evening for the Pitkin County primary election.
Credit Carolyn Sackariason

    A Carbondale resident didn’t come close to beating a current U.S. Representative in the Republican primary for the 3rd Congressional District. Same goes for a Republican Garfield County Commissioner candidate. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher reports.

  Carbondale resident Alex Beinstein snagged about 20 percent of the vote statewide in his bid to unseat Congressman Scott Tipton. Beinstein said Tuesday night that the primary results were a surprise.

“I got a false impression, I really felt like we had done decently the last couple of months, but I guess I was pretty naive I thought we would be able to get more unaffiliated voters,” he said.

Beinstein said he doesn’t regret anything about his campaign, and isn’t sure what he’ll do next. Congressman Tipton didn’t appear to publicly acknowledge winning the June primary.

In Garfield County, Silt Trustee Aron Diaz was hoping to beat fellow Republican John Martin in a bid for a seat on the board of county commissioners. But Diaz ended up snagging only about 27 percent of the vote.

“I did what I wanted to do in bringing forth issues about the need for economic development and diversification in this county,” he said. “And close to a third of the people in this county, at least on the Republican side, agreed with me on that.”

In Pitkin County, valley natives Greg Poschman and Scott Writer will advance to the general election for a commissioner seat. Poschman received about 45 percent of the vote and Writer, 32 percent. The third candidate, Hawk Greenway, garnered 23 percent.

Poschman said he doesn’t want to campaign hard in the next few months, instead giving voters a break before the real stumping occurs this fall. But he does have this plan.

“... I am going to continue my listening tour,” he said. “I’m going to reach out to everyone. To Hawk and Hawk’s supporters and the people in the community who were backing him.”

Writer thanked his supporters in a statement released Tuesday night.

Republicans in all three counties chose incumbent Joyce Rankin to continue representing the 3rd Congressional District with the state board of education. Statewide, Republicans chose El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn as the GOP nominee for U.S. Senate. In Garfield, Pitkin and Eagle counties, however, Republicans narrowly chose former Democrat Jack Graham instead.

Voter turnout was the highest in Garfield County. According to the Colorado Secretary of State’s office that tallied up to nearly 27 percent, with Pitkin County at just over 18 percent. Eagle County’s clerk and recorder estimated that county at about 17 percent.