Hawks, Torres win District 3 council primary
by Lisa J. Church
Staff Writer
Jun 26, 2014 | 3914 views | 0 0 comments | 53 53 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Grand County Council District 3 candidates Jaylyn Hawks and Manuel Torres placed first and second, respectively, in the county’s only primary race on Tuesday, June 24. Candidate Russell Pogue came in a distant third.

Hawks and Torres will face off in the Nov. 4 general election for the county council seat, which includes election precincts 5 and 11.

Hawks received a total of 315 votes — 49.68 percent — in the primary, which saw the highest voter participation for any primary in recent memory, according to Grand County Clerk Diana Carroll. Torres received 237 votes (37.38 percent) while Pogue garnered 82 votes for a total of 12.93 percent overall, according to figures released by the clerk’s office.

Carroll said 51.38 percent of the 1,234 active registered voters in the district cast ballots in the primary, which was Grand County’s first vote-by-mail election.

“We’ve been thrilled with the response from voters,” Carroll said Tuesday, adding that voters had continued bringing in their ballots in person as late as Tuesday afternoon. “It’s great to see so many people voting.”

Jana Smith, chief deputy clerk/auditor for Grand County, said the vote-by-mail process ran smoothly.

“We are really happy,” she said. “The process went really well.”

Hawks said she was pleased that so many voters cast ballots.

“I’m just very impressed with the turnout,” she said. “Voters for all three candidates turned out in record numbers and I’m excited for the next phase of this race.”

Torres said his primary campaign was fairly low-key, but he plans to be very active in the general election.

“I didn’t have a chance to spend a lot of time going out door to door [in the primary],” Torres said. “But now that we’re down to two people, I can get after it and try to get some more votes.”

On Wednesday morning, Pogue said he was disappointed but accepting of the result.

“I wish it went more my way, but I fully understand,” he said. “I look at it as a learning experience, and maybe I’ll try again in four years.”

He also thanked the community for taking time to vote.

“I’m really happy that the public got out and voted, and I’m happy that the decision is made,” he said.

In the Nov. 4 general election, two other county council races will also be decided. Incumbent James Nyland will face off against Mary McGann for the countywide council at-large seat. In council District 1, former council member Chris Baird and Moab resident Kim Call will compete for the open seat.

Several other elected county officers are also up for election this fall. In the race for Grand County Treasurer, Debbie Littlefield and Christopher Kaufmann will compete for the job, and incumbent Grand County Clerk/Auditor Diana Carroll is being challenged by Zacharia Levine.

Grand County Sheriff Steve White is running unopposed for re-election, as are Grand County Attorney Andrew Fitzgerald, Grand County Assessor Debbie Swasey and Grand County Recorder John Cortes.

Two seats are also up for election on the Grand County Board of Education. In School Board District 4, incumbent Beth Joseph is running unopposed for re-election. In School Board District 2, Britnie Ellis and Mary Frothingham will vie for the open seat.

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