Posts Tagged ‘Continues’
The balance of power isn’t likely to change, but a few Colorado state legislative races are still up in the air nearly a week after last Tuesday’s midterm elections.
In Senate District 16, where Democratic stalwart Dan Gibbs created a vacuum when he stepped down to run unopposed for Summit County commissioner, current Democratic Gilpin County Commissioner Jeanne Nicholson is clinging to about a 500-vote lead over Republican and Tea Party favorite Tim Leonard, a Colorado founder of the American Constitution Party.
Nicholson, a former county health nurse, says she doesn’t expect the SD16 race to be resolved for more than a week.
“What we know so far is that I am ahead with 537 more votes than my opponent, according to the clerk and recorder websites for all six of the counties [in the mountainous Front Range district]. What we don’t know is the full count for the provisional ballots and the mail-in ballots, military ballots, etc,” Nicholson said over the weekend.
The Boulder Daily Camera reported those numbers actually tightened over the weekend, but not enough to trigger an automatic recount. The paper reported a batch of uncounted Jefferson County ballots shrank Nicholson’s lead to just 452 votes, or 30,101 for Nicholson and 29,649 for Leonard.
“So we feel like we will not want to claim victory until we have that final result in out of respect for all of the people who voted in the election in Senate District 16, either for myself or my opponent and that we won’t know those final results and have an official announcement from the clerk and recorders’ offices and the Secretary of State until Nov. 19,” Nicholson told the Colorado Independent. “Of course, I’ll be delighted to represent all the citizens in the district if that is the wish of the voters.”
The results will not change the Democratic majority in the state Senate, where if Nicholson wins it will be a 20-15 edge. If Leonard somehow pulls it out, that margin will be a slightly tighter 19-16 majority.
In one key state House race, HD61, things are little more complicated, with write-in independent incumbent Kathleen Curry winning a court ruling Friday mandating that Colorado of Secretary of State Bernie Buescher must count ballots where voters wrote in Curry’s name but did not fill out a box or oval next to her name. Buescher had ruled those ballots would not count, and Curry sued. Now Buescher has until Wednesday to appeal.
Again, the balance of power is not expected to shift. After Tuesday, Republicans held a slim 33-32 majority in the House. A win by Curry over Democrat Roger Wilson would make that a 33-31-1 split in favor of the Republicans.
According to the website Real Aspen, Wilson was leading on Saturday with 9,496 votes to 9,001 for Curry, a difference of 495 votes. Real Aspen reported 29,390 ballots had been cast and only 27,389 had been counted.
“It is possible Curry may have received the greatest number of votes in the HD 61 race. Refusing to count these votes would thwart the clear intention of the electorate, as well as the intent of the election code,” Judge John W. Madden wrote in his decision on Friday.
“We hope the county clerks are allowed to do their job soon, and begin the count,” Curry told Real Aspen on Saturday. “The state could still delay this decision if they choose to fight against voter intent and appeal this ruling.”
Buescher originally ruled Curry, a three-term Democrat, switched to independent too late to have her name appear on the ballot, forcing her to run as a write-in. No write-in has ever won a state House seat, according to several sources, leaving Curry with a daunting uphill task. Her showing in Tuesday’s election has been surprising strong even give her name recognition.
Harvie Branscomb, Democratic chairman for House District 61, told the Denver Post on Sunday that all the ballots in the race should be recounted by hand, not just the 2,000 or so under votes for Curry that were thrown out because of Buescher’s ruling.
“I’m quite … opposed to partially recounting the contest,” Branscomb told the Post. “I really don’t think it’s fair for the court to say that the vote count can only go up for Kathleen Curry but it can’t go up for any other candidate.”
Colorado Democratic Party chairwoman Pat Waak told the paper she hasn’t yet decided whether to lobby Buescher to appeal the judge’s ruling.
Got a tip? Freelance story pitch? Send us an e-mail. Follow The Colorado Independent on Twitter.
Disturbing Revelations Reveal Lack of Conviction and Leadership Ability
Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Haslam confuses Tennessee voters about his stance on gun rights, claiming one day everyone should go armed anywhere and then the next day restrictions should exist on some of us.
“Evidently it depends on where he is and how hard the wind is blowing,” Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester said of Haslam’s flip-flop on gun rights. “The man is about as firm on an issue as a limp noodle. This is not the kind of leadership Tennessee needs right now.
“Bill Haslam needs to sit down and explain himself to voters. Why would someone who has never owned a gun leave Mayor Bloomberg’s anti-gun group and join the National Rifle Association? Why does Mr. Haslam constantly contradict his own statements regarding guns in schools, businesses and bars?”
Over the past week, Bill Haslam has reversed, revised and recanted statements about gun rights in a shameful attempt to appease an extreme view. In addition to his statement indicating he would sign legislation eliminating a system that prevents guns from ending up in the hands of criminals and the mentally unstable, Haslam has continued to jump from one side of the fence to the other on firearm issues.
Guns in Schools
On Monday, October 25, Haslam joined fellow wingnut state Rep. Stacey Campfield in supporting allowing anyone to carry guns into classrooms across the state. Not only did Haslam indicate he views drinking establishments and educational institutions to be one in the same, he also reversed previous statements he made regarding the issue:
Haslam: “It’s like a bar. The bar owner should be able to decide what happens there. The schools—local school boards should be able to decide. Whoever has control over that property should be able to decide what happens there.”
When the news reporter informed the clueless Haslam the ban on guns in schools was a state law and not a local issue, he did an about-face and contradicted himself:
Q: Currently, there’s a state ban on guns in public schools? So you want to do away with the state ban?
Haslam: “No, I wouldn’t. I would not touch that ban on any kind of gun ban in schools.”
Guns at Work
On Monday, October 25, Haslam contradicted his previous stances on guns at work when speaking to news reporters at a campaign stop in Springfield.
Haslam: “Employers should have the decision about what happens in, on their property.”
Once again he contradicted a statement he gave to the Tennessee Newspaper Network earlier this year:
Haslam: “I support allowing a legal carrier to keep a gun locked up inside his or her own car while at work.”
After Haslam’s misfire, his campaign scrambled to cover his tracks and issued a statement claiming its candidate had “misheard” the reporter’s question.
However, it was later revealed that the Haslam family owned Pilot bans employees from bringing guns onto company property, whether they have a handgun permit or not.
“These reversals by Haslam reveal a lack of conviction and a surplus of ignorance regarding the issues facing Tennessee,” Forrester said. “Bill Haslam’s inability to take a stand indicates he doesn’t understand the issues or is simply saying whatever voters want to hear. Either way, it’s clear he’s unfit to lead this state.”