Mesa County Republican primary turnout lower, despite sheriff’s race
Based on the way Mesa County Republicans voted in other races on Tuesday, the sheriff’s race clearly was the most popular, according to election result data.
But even though that race between state Sen. Steve King and self-described constitutional sheriff candidate John Pennington is what drew voters to the poll this years, fewer of them actually turned out in this year’s primary than they have in years past.
A little more than 45 percent of Republicans in the county voted in this year’s primary even though there were five contested races, according to election data maintained by the Mesa County Clerk’s Office.
In 2010, 56 percent of GOP voters cast a ballot in the county.
This year, the contests involved the governor’s race, a state House race, sheriff, the 3rd Congressional District and the State Board of Education.
In 2010, it was a governor’s race, the U.S. Senate, a state House race, the 3rd Congressional District and state treasurer.
Also, despite calls from some voters who wanted to change their votes in the sheriff’s race after learning about allegations of code-of-conduct violations by King, no one did so.
The data indicates that 44 people did ask for a replacement ballot, but that’s normal, Clerk Sheila Reiner said. In 2012, 35 voters did that, too.
Still, the county’s turnout was slightly better than the statewide average. According to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, about 39 percent of active Republican voters participated in the election.
County Republicans also agreed with their counterparts statewide in favoring former congressman Bob Beauprez as the GOP candidate who should run against Democrat John Hickenlooper for governor in November, but by a greater margin.
While Beauprez won about 30 percent of the statewide vote, he garnered nearly 40 percent of the Mesa County vote, about twice as much as his closest competitor, Tom Tancredo.