What happened to GOP dominance in Grand County? | SkyHiNews.com

What happened to GOP dominance in Grand County?

Autumn Phillips / From the Editor
Grand County, Colorado

Accepted wisdom is that Grand County is a Republican stronghold.

Registered voter numbers back that up.

Which is why I was so surprised by the election results as they came in early Wednesday morning.

Republicans didn’t win by sweeping numbers ” if they won at all in some races.

For president, John McCain won with 4,088 votes to Barack Obama’s 3,961. That’s a gap of 127. Not exactly what I would call a “stronghold.” (Ralph Nader received 55 votes. Libertarian Bob Barr received 35 votes.)

In the Mark Udall/Bob Schaffer U.S. Senate race, the margin was even tighter with a Democrat taking the win. Udall won in Grand County with 3,904 votes to Schaffer’s 3,776.

Democrat Dan Gibbs lost to Republican Don Ytterberg, but not by much. Ytterberg: 3,819. Gibbs: 3,652. A difference of 167 votes.

This is my first large-scale election in Grand County ” so it’s possible that it’s always been this close. But, according to conventional wisdom, that’s not the case.

I’m not saying Grand County is the next Boulder, but I am seeing a shift that includes both parties at the political table.

It makes me wonder ” did Grand County just follow the national trend of leaning left this election? Or is Grand County changing?

And if so, why? Is it a changing mindset or a changing demographic? I’d be curious to hear your thoughts. I posted these thoughts on my From the Editor blog this morning, hoping to get some insight from people who have lived here longer than me. Visit the From the Editor blog on http://www.skyhidailynews.com and post a comment.

Editorial board

Today we welcome two new members to our editorial board ” Jill Korkowski and Elena Campbell.

Korkowski is the executive director of Mountain Family Center. She will bring her insight as a member of the nonprofit community to our board.

Like myself, Campbell grew up in Wyoming. She comes from a ranching family in Sheridan. She worked as a health care financial consultant for a number of years, before retiring to become a stay-at-home Mom. She wrote in an e-mail, “I hope to contribute insights into our current financial and political environment, often using history as our guide.”

Korkowski and Campbell join the editorial board during the second term since its creation.

The board includes four members of the community and three staff members of the newspaper. We meet once a week to discuss the news, happenings and opinions on the street. We discuss angles, topics and points of discussion for editorials, which are later written by the editor or the news editor of this paper.

Two members of the previous editorial board have chosen to serve another term ” Bill Heiss, retired CU professor in the Graduate School of Public Affairs, and Judi Servoss, retired vice president-public relations for MediaOne Group. She currently serves on the board of the Middle Park Land Trust.

We are fortunate to be given the time and expertise of these community members.

They will serve a six-month term on the board and then we will come to the community again looking for volunteers.

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