13th Judicial voters reject extending DA term limit to three
Yuma County overwhelmingly voted Republican in the 2018 midterm election, which came to a close Tuesday, November 6.
No surprise there as the county traditionally votes more than 80 percent Republican. Voter turnout was strong, particularly for a midterm election as 69 percent of registered voters cast a ballot.
Even Yuma Democrat Bethleen McCall could not make make much of an inroad within her own county in the race against Republican Rod Pelton of Cheyenne Wells for Colorado’s House District 65.
McCall was soundly defeated in Yuma County, receiving 1,043 votes to 2,971 for Pelton, according to unofficial results from the Yuma County Clerk & Recorder’s Office. Pelton easily won throughout the far-flung District 65 to replace Republican Ron Becker in the Colorado Legislature.
Still, McCall receiving 26 percent of the votes was better than what Democratic candidates traditionally experience in Yuma County and throughout northeast Colorado. For example, Democrat Debra Gutafson received 15 percent of the votes in Yuma County in her race against popular Republican incumbent Jerry Sonnenberg for State Senate District 1. Sonnenberg easily earned another term throughout District 1.
McCall, a Yuma City Councilwoman, is well-versed and active in the Republican River Compact issues so critical to Yuma County and the region. She is active in promoting hemp, which eventually could become an important alternative, water-saving crop. McCall, a moderate Democrat, is even a gun owner and a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights.
She probably did as well as a Democrat could do in a region-wide race for political office.
There were a couple of other races of specifically-local interest on the ballot.
The six counties in the 13th Judicial District had a ballot question asking to change the term limits for the District Attorney position from two to three terms. It was soundly defeated in Yuma County with 75 percent voting against. It was defeated throughout the 13th Judicial. Current DA Brittny Lewton is in her second term.
Wray School District RD-2 needed to get a general obligation bond passed in order to utilize a BEST Grant to move ahead plans to build a middle school at the Wray Elementary/Wray High School campus to replace the dilapidated Buchanan Middle School.
It passed by a relatively-comfortable margin, with 60 percent of the 1,739 votes cast in favor (1.037-702). Now the Wray district will move forward with the project.
With Yuma County so heavily Republican, the numerous county-elected positions up for election were uncontested. While just a formality, elected to new four-year terms were Republicans Trent Bushner for Commissioner District 1, Beverly A. Wenger for Clerk and Recorder, Dee Ann Stults (who used to be a Democrat) for Treasurer, and Cindy Taylor for Assessor. Todd Combs made it official as the next Yuma County Sheriff, after beating incumbent Chad Day in last June’s primary. Democrat Dan Baucke was unopposed for Coroner, which is a formality as the position alternates every four years between the Yuma and Wray funeral home directors.