Nowlin, Lambert win big in GOP primary

Commission candidate James Lambert bested Jim Candelaria in the Montezuma County Republican primary Tuesday, June 24, while Steve Nowlin scored a major win over incumbent Dennis Spruell in the sheriff’s race.

Assessor candidate Scott Davis and coroner candidate George Deaver won their primaries easily.

There were no locally contested races on the Democratic side.

All results are unofficial until verified by the clerk’s office.

The tally was:

District 1 Commission Race:

James Lambert – 2028 votes (54 percent)

Jim Candelaria – 1740 votes (46 percent)

Sheriff’s Race:

Steve Nowlin – 2284 votes (59 percent)

Dennis Spruell – 1580 votes (41 percent)


Scott Davis – 2195 votes (63 percent)

Cynthia Claytor – 1302 votes (37 percent)


George Deavers – 2423 votes (66 percent

Michael Hall – 1232 votes (34 percent)

The winners in the Republican primary in Montezuma County rarely face Democratic opponents in the general election, and none will do so this year. There are expected to be several unaffiliated candidates contesting some of the races, but the advantage is usually with the Republicans, although in 2012 an unaffiliated candidate, Larry Don Suckla, was elected to the post of county commissioner.

The total number of ballots cast in the county was 4,837, not counting some 60 provisional and/or outstanding ballots from overseas military personnel that could still come in. None of the races were close enough to be affected by that count.

In a contested statewide Republican race, Montezuma County voters preferred Mike Kopp for governor, with 1079 votes, followed by Tom Tancredo with 921, Scott Gessler with 751, and Bob Beauprez with 665. The county’s voters preferred local and incumbent Third District Rep. Scott Tipton by a margin of more than 2 to 1 (2774 votes to 1012) over challenger David Cox, and leaned to Barbara Smith by a margin of 1524 to 1416 over Marcia Heal for the State Board of Education.

From June 2014.