9th Judicial District DA race headed to recount

Saying he’s simply seeking certainty regarding the results, incumbent Republican Martin Beeson announced Monday he is requesting a recount of the results of the race for district attorney for the 9th Judicial District.

Beeson planned to file the request Monday or today with the Secretary of State’s Office.

Final election counts in Pitkin, Garfield and Rio Blanco counties have Beeson trailing Democratic challenger Sherry Caloia by 192 votes. Caloia’s margin of victory is more than 100 more than the amount that would have required an automatic recount.

As a result, Beeson will have to pay for the recount’s cost unless the results change the race’s outcome. He’s hoping he has enough leftover campaign funds on hand to cover that cost.

Beeson continues to acknowledge the chances of him winning because of a recount are slim.

“I’m ready to walk out of here, and when I do I’ll walk out with my head high. I just don’t want to think back and say, ‘Why did I leave that stone unturned,’ ” he said. “If this recount turns out as I’m sure most if not all expect, it will be just confirmation that the results were correct.

“It’s that finality, that certainly I think will benefit all concerned.”

Caloia said Beeson’s entitled to seek a recount under state law.

“So that’s fine,” she said of his decision. “I have total confidence in the clerks of the three counties. I’m not expecting there to be much of a change.”

Beeson had until Dec. 7 to request the recount, and the Secretary of State’s Office has until Dec. 13 for it to be completed.

Secretary of State spokesman Rich Coolidge said it likely will be done sooner, but that depends on county schedules.

Garfield County Clerk Jean Alberico has estimated the cost will be at least $5,000 for her office. Dwight Shellman, Pitkin County’s election manager, said the price tag there might be about $3,500.

Beeson said his recount decision wasn’t influenced by Aspen election activist Marilyn Markham. She had submitted a letter to local papers this week urging him to seek a recount, but he announced his decision before it could be printed.

Said Markham, “I think that it’s very courageous of Martin to ask for this recount, and I hope that Sherry Caloia will encourage it because DAs, of all people, need to expose how bad our election system is in Colorado,” Markham said.


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