UPDATE: Linke holding slim lead in Grand County clerk and recorder race

Jolene Linke, center, and family.
Jolene Linke/Courtesy Photo

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the current status of the race, with votes called at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 9.

After the last vote totals update of the election, the Grand County Clerk and Recorder race remains too close to call, with Republican Jolene Linke leading by 96 votes over Democrat Abby Loberg in this neck-to-neck race.

Linke has received 3,903 votes, while Loberg has received 3,807 votes. Officials at the clerk’s office said 48 ballots are left to be counted, while 124 ballots have been rejected. Since voters with rejected ballots have until 11:59 p.m. Nov. 16 to resend, or “cure” their ballots, the race is still technically within reach for Loberg, but the outcome is unlikely to change.

If her lead holds, Linke will replace Sara Rosene, who served as clerk and recorder for 30 years. Rosene leaves big shoes to fill, but Linke said she plans to carry on Rosene’s legacy of conducting fair and accurate elections.

“Thank you to all of Grand County! I am truly honored that you have placed your trust in me to serve you in this very important County office,” Linke wrote in an email to Sky-Hi News on her potential acceptance as results now stand. “It will be my pleasure to work for you, the people of Grand County, to ensure that the Clerk and Recorder’s office continues to serve you.”

Loberg wrote an email to the Sky-Hi News as results were still coming in, expressing confidence in the vote count.

“I’d like to thank the voters of Grand County for turning out to support me as a candidate. I trust the election judges, Sara Rosene and her staff, and I accept the results of the election,” Loberg wrote.

Born in Kremmling, Linke has lived in either Routt County or Grand County for almost all her life. Before running for office, she worked as a private attorney in Hot Sulphur Springs. She was also a school teacher at Winter Park Christian School.

“I taught school for 12 years, which meant patience, understanding and no discrimination or disparaging of beliefs,” she said during Granby’s candidate forum this October. “I also grew up on a ranch, which taught me tenacity, common sense, perseverance, hard work and honesty.” 

From childhood, Linke’s life has been rooted in the responsibility of tending livestock, where she learned the value of getting a job “done right.”

“Out there, if you don’t shut the gate, the cattle get out. If you don’t water, you don’t get the hay,” she said. “It’s a very good lifestyle for learning values like integrity.”

She added her experiences as secretary for the Grand County Republicans, a class officer in law school and election judge have prepared her for this role.

“The clerk is to be nonpolitical. That bridges the divide locally,” she said on the importance of being in a nonpartisan government role.

In addition to overseeing county elections, the clerk is also responsible for navigating life’s big moments for residents, including: filing vital records such as birth death, and marriage certificates, recording/maintaining real estate documents, issuing driver’s licenses, and titling and registering vehicles.

In describing her goals to serve the public in the clerk’s office, Linke stated, “I will work to keep the windows open so you can renew your license plates, even during the lunch hour, and bring back drivers licensing to our County. I take this responsibility seriously, and will also work with both democrats and republicans to make sure our elections remain accessible to all, fair and honest. Thank you for trusting me with this vital County office.”

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