Mesa commissioner squashes Libertarian foe

Mesa County Commissioner Steve Acquafresca coasted to an easy re-election victory Tuesday night over Libertarian challenger Steve Saint, calling the strong voter backing “motivating and invigorating.”

With 66 percent of the ballots counted as of 11 p.m., the Republican Acquafresca was ahead 71 percent to 17 percent (33,540 to 8,270).

“It’s just really humbling to have such strong support from the citizens of Mesa County,” Acquafresca said while watching early returns at the Mesa County Courthouse.

Acquafresca said last week the county should continue to work hand-in-hand with the private sector to help the economy recover locally. Given the flattening of the energy industry, he said he’d like to see a return to the traditional economies of agriculture and tourism.

The 59-year-old also noted he hasn’t been afraid to differ with fellow commissioners Craig Meis and Janet Rowland, noting he voted against the formation of a county-run medical clinic and a taxing district in Clifton and Fruitvale.

In a quiet competition, the 33-year-old Saint, a U.S. Army veteran and current Mesa County Sheriff’s Department employee, differed from Acquafresca on two primary issues. Saint supported Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101 while disagreeing with the county’s decision to go into debt to fund a number of capital projects.


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