Janelle Shaver Elected Wheat Ridge City Clerk

Former Wheat Ridge City Councilwoman Janelle Shaver has bested opponent Maureen Keller by about 120 votes in this evening’s runoff election.

We’re not necessarily surprised by the result. After all, Shaver rather handily beat Keller last month and was expected to formalize her win this evening. While Keller was lucky to get a second chance at the clerk’s office, the voters by and large reinforced the decision they made last month: Shaver is to be clerk.

Which makes the fact that there had to be a $35,000 recount all the more bizarre. After tonight, the exact same person will be sworn in as clerk as if there was no runoff at all.

Moreover, it’s not as if the runoff engaged Wheat Ridge voters who would’ve ignored the election and city government otherwise.  Nearly 1,400 fewer citizens voted in the runoff compared to last month’s regularly scheduled election.

So much for taxpayer funded democracy, eh? Runoff elections are very rarely a bad thing – candidates who can survive both rounds are generally the best tailored for whatever job they’re seeking. In Wheat Ridge, however, where there has never before been a runoff election, this whole process just doesn’t make any sense.

It doesn’t make sense because there should never be an “accidental” election.  

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