As the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Dan West reports, something unexpected happened in yesterday’s City Council elections in the conservative stronghold of Grand Junction:
Current Council Member Rick Taggart was re-elected, switching districts from At Large to District A. Dennis Simpson (District D), Abe Herman (District E) and Randall Rietz (At Large) also won their races.
Results are still unofficial in the race. Taggart was leading opponent Mark McCallister by more than 2,500 votes after the initial results were announced. Herman was ahead by nearly 3,000 votes over candidate Jody Green and Rietz led current City Council Member Kraig Andrews by more than 2,600 votes…
“I feel really good for the people that won tonight,” Taggart said. “Not so much for me, I’m thrilled for myself, but I’m really happy about council as a whole. I think it’s going to be a very good council and it’s going to help this city continue to move forward.”
As the Colorado Times Recorders confirms, these results amount to a sweeping defeat of Republican-endorsed candidates in one of the state’s most conservative incorporated cities:
Kristi Burton Brown, the newly elected chair of the Colorado GOP, who’s known in the state for being a huge proponent of anti-abortion and opponent of LGBTQ+ rights, encouraged voters to back all Republican candidates in the Grand Junction council election, among others, in a video from last Thursday.
Then, yesterday morning, she sent out an email endorsing four candidates, saying “The Republicans running for City Council are Mark McCallister (District A), Jody Green (District E), Greg Haitz (District D), and Kraig Andrews (At-Large).”
That’s a clean sweep, and Mesa County Republicans including state Rep. Matt Soper are losing their minds:
State Rep. @SoperMatthew is so triggered that everybody he endorsed lost bigly that he is spewing election conspiracies about his own MAGA loving, Dominion hating @mesacountyclerk Tina Peters! #copolitics pic.twitter.com/on7ecuJ6JH
— Rural Colorado United (@RuralCOUnited) April 7, 2021
It’s simple–Dominion and Mesa County’s nutty Republican clerk stole the election for Democrats!
Unlike Rep. Soper we’re just kidding, but the results of yesterday’s municipal elections in Grand Junction are a very big deal whether Republicans accept them or not–and now we’re left to debate what it means for the future in this anchor city of a conservative stronghold Republicans in Colorado cannot afford to see eroded away. Did Lauren Boebert’s high-controversy low-productivity kickoff in Congress turn off Grand Junction’s swing voters? Was it a refusal to jettison Mark McCallister, whose racist social media feed was making fellow Republicans blush years before Boebert came on the scene?
Republicans west of the Divide are suddenly apprehensive. It looks like they should be.