Results are still coming in for two contested races for two Arapahoe County commissioner seats in the primary election June 28.
Overseeing a population of just under 650,000, the county’s five commissioners are responsible for a roughly $400 million budget that governs the county’s various departments including housing and human services, public works and parks and recreation. Commissioners also coordinate with local, state and federal services.
In the race for District 2, which encompasses south-central Arapahoe County, Mark Gotto held a lead over opponent Jason Presley in the Republican primary, with 53.02% of the vote as of 4 p.m. Thursday. According to the Secretary of State's Office, 12,166 votes were cast between the two candidates.
The winner will face Democrat Jessica Campbell-Swanson, a campaign manager and political consultant who ran unopposed, Nov. 8.
Current District 2 Commissioner Nancy Sharpe’s term will expire January 2023.
Gotto, a former councilmember for the City of Centennial, is running on his 20-year corporate career, which culminated in an executive role of a Fortune 100 company, as well as his time in public service as his main pitch to voters. Key priorities for him are targeting spending from the $550 billion federal infrastructure bill, maintaining a debt-free budget and reducing crime.
He has received endorsements and testimonials from Centennial Mayor Stephanie Piko, former mayor Cathy Noon and former councilmember Carrie Penaloza.
Presley currently serves as a deputy sheriff for Arapahoe County and has served in the sheriff’s office for 17 years. In his bid for commissioner, Presley said he is focused on combating the rise in crime by increasing the sheriff’s office’s budget, managing the county’s new health department and working collaboratively with other agencies to address increased homelessness. Both he and Gotto also support building a new jail in the county.
Presley did not list any endorsements on his campaign website.
Campbell-Swanson is endorsed by current county commissioners Carrie Warren-Gully, Nancy Jackson and Bill Holen. She also received endorsements from county Assessor PK Kaiser, Democratic Colorado state senators, house representatives and public education leaders.
In the race for District 4, which encompasses central Arapahoe County, Democrats Regina Edmondson and opponent Leslie Summey were nearly tied as of 4 p.m. Thursday. Summey narrowly leads with 50.91% of the vote. The Secretary of State's Office reported that 11,212 votes were cast between the two.
The winner of the Democratic primary will face Republican Bob Roth, who has served in multiple public service roles — including as mayor pro tem for the City of Aurora from 2013 to 2019 — Nov. 8. Roth ran unopposed in the Republican primary.
Current District 4 Commissioner Nancy Jackson’s term will expire January 2023.
Edmondson has served as a leader in the county’s business community, serving on the City of Aurora Business Advisory Board and the Aurora Rotary Club. Her platform includes supporting more affordable housing and other housing resources, such as rent assistance and subsidies, improving economic opportunities for businesses and partnering with various agencies and community centers to improve public safety.
She is endorsed by Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, Arapahoe County Commissioner Bill Holen and several other state and local elected leaders.
Summey is a Navy veteran and small business owner who focused a large part of her platform on advancing equity and human rights in Arapahoe County. She said she wants to address rising rates of domestic violence and easily accessible reproductive healthcare services, provide more attainable housing and services for those who are homeless, improve veterans’ care and make the county a more inclusive place for LGBTQ people.
Summey is endorsed by Aurora councilmembers Alison Coombs, Juan Marcano and Rubin Medina as well as state Rep. Steven Woodrow and several local community advocates.
This article will continue to be updated as votes are counted.
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