Montezuma County Republicans gathered Tuesday evening at the Elks Lodge No. 1789 in Cortez to watch federal election results come in on Fox News between updates from Montezuma County Republican Party Chairman Danny Wilikin about local races.
Wilkin provided the crowd updates about every hour as the Montezuma County Clerk and Recorder Office provided reports on turnout and results from the 11 county precincts.
Of particular interest to the crowd was the race for Montezuma County commissioner: Republican candidate John Candelaria ran against Democrat MB McAfee, and unaffiliated candidates Steve Chappell and Jesse Sattley for the seat.
Candelaria was not in attendance at the gathering; he awaited results at the county office downtown.
Unopposed Republican candidates for county offices attended the Elks Lodge event, thankful not to worry about their race’s outcomes. Among them were county Treasurer-elect Ellen Black, County Assessor-elect Leslie Buck and County Sheriff-elect Steve Nowlin.
As he periodically announced results, Wilkin expressed satisfaction with the turnout from Montezuma County, which was 60 percent of registered voters. In the 2014 midterms, 53 percent of Montezuma registered voters turned out.
During the event, representatives from the Republican Women’s Club of Montezuma County sold “Make America Great Again” hats to raise money for their upcoming efforts to get more Republicans onto the ballot for future races in the county.
Former president of the club, Rosemarie Beall, said that the club of approximately 13 to 15 women would be working to help potential Republican candidates learn how to get on the ballot and raise money for their campaign.
Visit from Rep. TiptonThe last call for drinks at Elks Lodge was made before final results in the county commissioner race were announced, though final results later showed Candelaria won the seat by 3 percent of casted ballots.
However, another big race for Montezuma Republicans was called early into the night.
News organizations began calling the race for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District for incumbent Rep. Scott Tipton around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Tipton dropped by the bar later that evening with his wife and daughter to a round of applause and handshakes all around. He said that he was appreciative for the support he had received from the district; he received 52 percent of the 307,712 total votes and 59 percent of the 11,718 votes from Montezuma County.
“I’m looking forward to standing up for the issues that are important to the folks here,” Tipton told The Journal during his visit to the lodge.