Chaffee County: a cold wind and a hot city election

Salida voter Sandra Hobbs drops off her ballot Monday in the ballot drop box outside the Chaffee County clerk’s office. (SOS photo)

A  cold wind blew leaves across the Chaffee County courthouse lawn on Monday as Clerk and Recorder Lori Mitchell told Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams how Salida’s municipal election has voters fired up.

“There’s a difference of opinion on the direction the city should go,” Mitchell said,  noting each of the three ward races are contested as is the mayor’s race.

As if on cue, Salida resident Sandra Hobbs got out of her vehicle and walked up to the 24-hour ballot box located outside the courthouse.

“It’s been something else,” she said of the city election.

Chaffee County Clerk Lori Mitchell and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams discuss Tuesday’s election during Williams’ visit to Salida on Monday. (SOS photo)

Every voter in Chaffee County is getting a ballot for Tuesday’s election because they live in either the Buena Vista or Salida school district, which are electing school board candidates and deciding on tax issues.

Salida is one of 45 cities and towns holding candidate elections on Tuesday, according to Sam Mamet, with the invaluable Colorado Municipal League.

Williams dropped by Chaffee County after visits earlier that day with clerks in Delta and Gunnison counties, and over the weekend with Montrose County Clerk Tressa Guynes. Mitchell is president elect of the Colorado County Clerks Association, and will take over as president in January at the clerks winter conference in Colorado Springs. She will succeed Logan County Clerk Pam Bacon.