Beeson weighs recount, slim chances after vote count in 9th District DA race

Republican incumbent Martin Beeson is considering whether to request a recount but acknowledges it’s unlikely to eliminate a 192-vote gap between him and Democratic challenger Sherry Caloia in the race for district attorney in the 9th Judicial District.

The gap between the two had shrunk from 124 to 91 once Garfield and Rio Blanco counties had finalized their election results after working through provisional and other remaining ballots not counted by election night. However, Caloia’s lead grew again after Pitkin County, a Democratic stronghold, finalized its count late Tuesday night.

Districtwide, Caloia ended up with 17,633 votes, and Beeson 17,441. An automatic recount would have been required if her margin of victory was less than a half percent of her total votes, or 88 votes.

Beeson still can request a recount but would have to pay for it unless its outcome results in him winning. He said he wants to talk it over with his family and hopes to provide an update no later than Monday.

“I think it’s unlikely that a recount would change this result,” he conceded. “I just need some time to finalize my decision and my next step, so that should happen in the near future and we’ll take it from there.”

Garfield Clerk Jean Alberico said a recount would cost her office at least $5,000, just for the cost of paying judges.

“Quite frankly, looking for 192 votes — (the results following a recount) are going to change but it’s going to be minimal,” she said.

Beeson said he doubts the cost would be an issue, as he should have enough in his campaign account to cover it.

Both Caloia and Beeson were part of a recall campaign in late 2005 that led to Colleen Truden being ousted from office and Beeson replacing her. But Caloia decided to challenge Beeson after question his decisionmaking on certain cases.

“I’m just thankful to all of my supporters and all the people who helped with the election,” she said.

She works in private practice and as a municipal prosecutor in Carbondale and Basalt, and was a state assistant attorney general and a prosecutor in Adams County.

“I think her judgment is excellent and that she’ll be a terrific DA, and I really am happy,” said Tom Silverman, a Glenwood Springs criminal defense attorney and Democrat who said he’d questioned Beeson’s judgment in some cases.

Said Beeson, “I don’t look back and regret anything. I’m thankful that the people of this district gave me the opportunity to serve and I served them well, and I leave this office in much better shape than when I took it over.”

Silverman had questioned Beeson’s eligibility to run again. Beeson already has served one and three-quarters terms. Silverman believes the partial term counted as a full one under Colorado’s two-term limit for DAs. He thinks he and other defense attorneys would have been obligated to legally challenge Beeson’s authority to act as prosecutor against their clients.

“I’m really glad that we don’t have to worry about that issue affecting all the cases in these three counties,” he said.


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