Republican Jim Candelaria won the right to replace James Lambert on the Montezuma County Commission, defeating Democrat M.B. McAfee by fewer than 400 votes Tuesday, Nov. 6, in an election that saw nearly 60 percent of county voters casting ballots.
Candelaria garnered 4,754 votes to McAfee’s 4,361, a margin of 40.7 percent to 37.4 percent.
Supporters of McAfee, who mounted an energetic campaign in an effort to become the county’s second-ever female commissioner and the first Democratic commissioner in about two decades, had hoped the presence of two unaffiliated conservatives on the ballot might help her. However, neither Steve Chappell Jr. or Jesse James Sattley siphoned off enough of the county’s conservative majority to enable McAfee to win.
Chappell notched 1,862 votes, while Sattley picked up 681.
County Clerk Kim Percell called voter participation “astronomical.”
“This is the most exciting thing I’ve ever been through,” she said. “The turnout is way over 2014,” the last non-presidential general election.
Of the county’s 19,681 registered voters, 11,864 cast ballots.
– By Gail Binkly
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