BY FREDA MIKLINGOVERNMENTAL REPORTER
Positions for city council and mayor in Colorado are non-partisan. While voters may know the political affiliations of the candidates, they do not run with a political party designation next to their name.
As of Nov. 12, Mike Coffman had bested Omar Montgomery in the Aurora mayoral election by 281 votes, or 0.38 percent, out of 74,056 cast for the five candidates on the ballot. Overseas, military and signature-cure ballots will accepted until Nov. 13. The next step in the process is the official canvas which happens Nov. 29. It consists of each county clerk from around the state, along with a representative from the two major political parties, certifying the vote totals from their respective counties according to Caleb Thornton of the legal division of the Secretary of State’s office. Once completed, the Secretary of State certifies the election results.
Curtis Gardner, who, thus far, got the highest number of votes of the six candidates for two at-large seats on the city council, will likely take the place of incumbent Johnny Watson, who came in third. Angela Lawson came in second out of the six candidates, so she was re-elected to her at-large position.
In Ward IV, challenger Juan Marcano has likely bested incumbent Charlie Richardson by 230 votes out of 13,162 cast. In another very close race, challenger Allison Coombs is beating incumbent Bob Roth by 261 votes out of 14,991 cast in Ward V.
Francoise Bergan was re-elected in Ward VI, beating challenger Bryan Lindstron, 57 percent to 43 percent.
A story in the Denver Post on November 9 said that 664 replacement ballots meant for Aurora voters that arrived on November 1 mistakenly “sat in a U.S. Postal Service warehouse until Election Day,” when they were discovered and hurriedly delivered by special handling. 141 of those were cast by the 7:00 p.m. cutoff, meaning 523 were not. According to the Post, “That’s 21 percent turnout…versus 43 percent for Arapahoe County as a whole in the election.” The difference doesn’t appear as though it would have changed the outcome in the race for mayor, using mathematical assumptions, but that is not how elections are supposed to work. Secretary of State Jena Griswold criticized the U.S. Postal Service for its mishandling of the ballots and more so, for its failure to notify her office of the problem until three days after the election. She did not accuse them of any intentional bad acts.
In southeast Englewood District three, challenger Joe Anderson beat incumbent Laurett Barrentine decisively, garnering 70 percent of the 2,325 votes cast. Barrentine beat back a recall effort last year, but it left a mark.
In District one in north Englewood, voters decided to stick with incumbent Othoniel Sierra, who got 57 percent of the vote, which was more than his two challengers, Monica Johnson and Bobby
Incumbent Rita Russell will be joined by newcomer to city council John Stone in the two at-large seats that were up in this election.
In District II, incumbent Jerry Valdes won another term, holding off challengers Kate Eckel and Jane Ozga with 44 percent of the 2,054 votes cast. He has been a city council member since 2011.
In District IV, Kelly Milliman will take over from Mayor Debbie Brinkman, who had served since 2007. Milliman bested interesting and knowledgeable challenger Iftin Abshir by 2 percent of the votes cast.
The two at-large positions will be filled by new city council members Pam Grove and Scott Melin. Incumbent Kyle Schlachter came in third in a five-person race.
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