Paige Blankenbuehler
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November 7, 2012
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Summit County votes in favor of Stiegelmeier

Summit County voters sided with the incumbent, re-electing Karn Stiegelmeier to the Board of County Commissioners.

Stiegelmeier, a Democrat, beat out Republican Kevin Mastin with 59 percent of the vote Tuesday night.

"I'm so thrilled with the support that I've received and I'm excited to move forward here in Summit County," Stiegelmeier said. "I'm in the middle of a lot of projects currently, and my goals are to continue in the direction of protecting the environment, open space, improve our recreational paths and my biggest passion of protecting our community's water sources."

With the loss, Mastin said his campaigning accomplished speaking for the county as a whole.

"I think it's a good thing for the county commissioners to be challenged," Mastin said. "There are other voices to be heard in Summit County."

Campaigning for the commissioner seat, mostly a polite race, became more heated late in October.

During the campaign, Mastin challenged the county government for imposing hefty permit fees, approving a nearly $3-million library project during tight budget times and failing to create a local economic development council.

Stiegelmeier defended her record throughout the campaign, saying she didn't want to create a "redundant" organization focused on economic development.

Still, Stiegelmeier said the dynamic of the race remained mostly positive.

"I appreciate that he (Mastin) ran a positive campaign and kept the focus on the issues," she said.

Running on a platform to better represent the diversity of the county, Mastin said the race was a difficult one.

"Honestly, I am disappointed of course, but I'm very happy with the campaign that I ran. I wouldn't have done anything differently," Mastin said. "I knew that running against an incumbent would be difficult and I knew that running against a Democrat in Summit County would be difficult. Those things turned out to be true but I'm happy with the support that I had throughout the campaign and with my final vote count."

Stiegelmeier's first term as county commissioner began in 2009. She was previously the director of the Friends of the Lower Blue River, chair of the Blue River Group of the Sierra Club, a Continental Divide Land Trust board member, was the director of the Alpine Charter School and a science teacher there as well.

She has also been involved in the Colorado River Basin Roundtable, Northwest Colorado Council of Governments executive board, Summit Water Quality Committee, Water Quality and Quantity Board, Blue River Watershed Group Advisory Board and the economic development district council, to name a few.

Stiegelmeier and her supporters gathered at Backcountry Brewery in Frisco to celebrate the results.

"It was deafening when the results on the presidential election came in," she said. "Everyone was thrilled to see President Obama get re-elected."

Mastin, too, gathered at the brewery to congratulate his opponent.

"I think some things are better said in person," he said. "It was a campaign well run with a challenging opponent."


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The Summit Daily Updated Nov 7, 2012 03:42PM Published Nov 7, 2012 04:26AM Copyright 2012 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.