Local election results hold few surprises
November 14, 2018
Nationwide, results of the highly anticipated 2018 midterm elections had a little something for everyone, but that was not the case in Boulder County. Locally, democratic candidates received large majorities, as did ballot measures supporting election reforms and oil and gas industry regulations. Here is a look at some (unofficial) results of particular local interest.
On average, registered voters in Boulder County cast their ballots at a higher rate than their counterparts elsewhere in Colorado. Statewide, turnout was 63.4 percent, but went up to 69.1 percent countywide. In the 2014 midterms, both rates were between 55 and 60 percent, but closer to 75 percent for the 2016 presidential election.
Left Hand Valley voters seemed especially motivated. In the eight precincts that comprise Gunbarrel and environs, 83 percent of registered voters cast their ballots, as did a nearly identical share in Niwot’s six precincts.
In the Colorado gubernatorial race, Boulder native Jared Polis was elected with 53 percent of the vote statewide and 75 percent in his home county. The former five-term congressman, whose family founded the Gunbarrel-based Blue Mountain Arts greeting card company, will be the nation’s first openly gay governor and Colorado’s first Jewish governor.
Democrat Joe Neguse won the seat Polis vacated in Congressional District 2 to become the first African-American elected to Congress from Colorado. The Boulder resident received nearly 80 percent of the votes in his home county, by far his highest share in the nine counties served by the District.
Democrat Matt Jones was the runaway winner to replace a term-limited Cindy Domenico for the District 3 seat on the Board of County Commissioners, with 68 percent of the vote. He beat out Republican Gary Cooper and Green Party candidate Cliff Willmeng. In a candidate forum hosted by the Niwot Community Association on Sept. 19, Jones said his three highest priorities for the county are clean energy, transportation congestion, and flood recovery reimbursement.
Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle, who has ties to Niwot, was re-elected with more than 80 percent of the vote.
In the race for District 2 State Board of Education, longtime Niwot resident Johnny Barrett lost his bid to unseat incumbent Angelika Schroeder, who hails from Boulder. Barrett, a Republican, supported higher student performance standards and more parental choice. He also supported a request earlier this year by the Boulder County Sheriff to place rifles in Niwot and Lyons High Schools. In September, St. Vrain Valley Schools denied that request.
A number of ballot issues also drew heavy local support, including Issue 7J, the Mountain View Fire Protection District mill levy increase, which passed with 62 percent approval. That measure will increase property taxes by $32 per $100,000 of actual home value for residents of the district, which spans nearly 184 square miles in two counties. At a July public meeting held at the Niwot fire station, MVFPD officials said the new revenues will pay for equipment upgrades and the construction of three new fire stations in the eastern part of the district.
Boulder was just one of 13 counties statewide to vote in favor of Proposition 112, which would have increased certain oil and gas drilling setbacks to 2,500 feet. Statewide, however, the measure went down to defeat, 56 percent to 44 percent.
For more local election results, including results for previous elections, visit https://www.bouldercounty.org/elections/. Precinct level results will be posted later this month.