Update: Stiegelmeier takes commission primary | SummitDaily.com

Update: Stiegelmeier takes commission primary

BOB BERWYNsummit daily newsSummit County, CO Colorado

5 of 5 polling places have returns. Unofficial results below. Only contested races listed.

Karn Stiegelmeier: 492 votes (46.46 percent) Kerry Gibson 188 votes (17.75 percent)Jeff Leigh 379 votes (35.79 percent)

Joan Fitz-Gerald 552 votes (49.42 percent)Jared Polis 272 votes (24.35 percent)Will Shafroth 293 votes (26.23 percent)

Summit County Democrats on Tuesday picked Karn Stiegelmeier to oppose Republican Peggy Long and independent Steve Swanson in the November race for the District 3 county commissioner seat.Stiegelmeier won with 492 votes (45.46 percent), with runner-up Jeff Leigh tallying 379 votes (35.79 percent) and third-place finisher Kerry Gibson receiving 188 votes (17.75 percent).Ive been looking forward to this evening and to taking a little vacation before coming back to the real world, Stiegelmeier said.The leader of the local chapter of the Sierra Club, Stiegelmeier explained that her primary win was partially based on her focus on environmental sustainability.I think all the issues Ive been involved with resonated with voters. People in the Lower Blue are concerned about fire protection and open space, Stiegelmeier said.The things Ive been involved with appeal to Democrats as a group. I may be overly optimistic, but I think they will appeal to everyone in Summit County across the spectrum, she said. But a lot of it comes down to people you know, and them talking to other people. Stiegelmeier praiser her primary opponents for running friendly campaigns.It was a really fun, pleasant experience. It was almost like we were trying to help each other, she said.Those comments were echoed by the losing candidates.I plan on supporting Karn 100 percent, Gibson said. She will be a great county commissioner. Runner-up Jeff Leigh also said he would work to elect Stiegelmeier in November.Well rally our support and throw it behind Karn, Leigh said.Turnout was low, said Summit County Democratic Party chair Sandy Briggs, with only about 1,100 voters casting primary ballots. There are more than 5,000 active Democractic voters, Briggs said, explaining that the vote total in the primary also includes unaffiliated voters.We’ve got one down, one to go, Briggs said, referring to the upcoming contest against Peggy Long, who was chosen without opposition by Republicans to run for the seat being vacated by her husband.Briggs said Stiegelmeier will be a strong candidate, based on her high profile in the community. Karn is engaged in the community in a lot of different ways the Sierra Club, obviously, on the I-70 collaborative group and in the schools, Briggs said.Stiegelmeier has been a Summit County resident since 1996. She has served chairwoman of the Blue River Sierra Club group for seven years and as executive director of the Friends of the Lower Blue for five years. Her website outlines a specific agenda with a focus on environmental protection and sustainability. As county commissioner, Stiegelmeier said she would work to remove obstacles preventing individuals and businesses from pursuing renewable-energy production.She supports a mass transit option for the I-70 corridor and advocates for the preservation of agricultural uses in the Lower Blue.Bob Berwyn can be reached at (970) 331-5996, or at bberwyn@summitdaily.com.

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