Record voter turnout in Mesa County

A record turnout of 96 percent of active voters in Mesa County cast ballots in Tuesday’s general election in which the county ran largely counter to statewide and national trends.

In all, 72,255 ballots were cast in Mesa County, the elections division of the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder’s Office said Tuesday.

Mesa County was the first county in Colorado to release returns after the polls closed at 7 p.m.

“We did well, I feel,” Clerk Sheila Reiner said. “I’m very, very thankful that our state wasn’t the one that ended up being the decider.”

Reiner was referring to Florida, where battles over the 2000 presidential election results ended up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

President Barack Obama captured Colorado’s nine electoral college votes, but Mesa County gave Republican Mitt Romney a two-to-one victory, according to final, unofficial numbers released by the elections division.

Romney piled up 46,690 votes, or 65 percent, to Obama’s 23,237 votes, or 33 percent, in the election, with the remainder split among several other candidates.

In races for county commissioner, Republican John Justman garnered 40,277 votes, or 62 percent, to those of his two unaffiliated opponents, Jana Bingham Gerow and John Leane, who collected 14,786 and 9,763 votes, respectively, or 23 and 15 percent in District 1.

In District 3, Republican Rose Pugliese collected 44,771 votes to Democrat Dave Edwards’ 21,919, or 67 percent to 33 percent.

In House District 55, which generally corresponds with the Grand Junction city limits, Republican Ray Scott garnered 21,708 votes, or 58 percent, to Democrat Dan Robinson’s 14,064, or 38 percent. Libertarian Virgil Fenn got 1,474 votes, or 4 percent. In House District 54, which includes the rest of Mesa County, Republican Jared Wright collected 16,653 votes, or 57 percent, to Libertarian Tim Menger’s 12,554 votes, or 43 percent.

The two Republicans running for posts representing the 3rd Congressional District also had strong Mesa County showings.

U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., captured 46,190 votes, or 67 percent, to the 19,053, or 27 percent, collected by Democrat Sal Pace, a state legislator from Pueblo. Two other candidates split the rest of the vote.

Grand Junction Republican Glen Gallegos got 43,347 votes, or 67 percent, to double-up his opponent, Jessica Garrow of Pitkin County, who collected 21,638 votes, or 33 percent.


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