Hard-fought primaries

No one can argue the Republican primary contests to fill two Mesa County commissioner seats amounted to a walk in the park for any of the candidates.

John Justman and Rose Pugliese deserve congratulations for winning their primaries. Justman won for the District 1 commissioner post, and Pugliese won in District 3.

But their opponents also put together tough campaigns in unsuccessful efforts. Former Fruita Mayor Ken Henry battled hard against Justman in what was an often-bitter contest, but came up surprisingly short in the end.

Perhaps the greatest surprise Tuesday was how many votes Woody Walcher garnered as a write-in candidate against Pugliese. Write-in campaigns are nearly impossible battles, but Walcher kept Pugliese from topping 60 percent of the vote.

Still, Pugliese and Justman are the Republican candidates for the two commissioner posts. While they each have competition in the November general election, neither may face the sort of no-holds-barred campaigns they participated in for the primary.


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