Lopsided lead favors lawyer’s conservative base
Mesa County voters apparently embraced the conservative platform espoused by the Republican candidate in the race for District 3 county commissioner, as 34-year-old lawyer Republican Rose Pugliese comfortably won the seat in Tuesday’s election.
Pugliese was able to capture 67 percent of the vote, or 37,671 votes, as of late Tuesday evening, besting her Democrat challenger, Palisade trustee and mayor pro-tem Dave Edwards, who earned 33 percent, or 18,704 votes.
“I felt like we ran a really good, positive campaign, based on issues, and I think people were really receptive to that,” Pugliese said.
About her opponent, she said, “Dave is a really nice guy, and he had a lot of really good ideas, and I’ll be looking forward to working with him.”
Pugliese did not stray far from her basic conservative message throughout the campaign, which focused on small businesses and economic development, streamlining the county’s processes and eliminating red tape where possible, and fiscal conservatism in making decisions on how to best spend the county’s $155 million-plus annual budget.
“I’m happy to get past this part, and I’m glad to have gotten the support of so many constituents. I’m really excited about that, and I’m looking forward to getting down to work,” Pugliese said.
District 3 primarily comprises the east end of Mesa County. Pugliese will fill the seat of Republican Janet Rowland, who has served as commissioner since January 2005. Rowland, along with District 1 Commissioner Craig Meis, is term-limited, making the seat open to contestants this election cycle.
Pugliese will be sworn in as commissioner in January.