When Boulder County Coroner Tom Faure retires this year after 23 years in the office, 33-year-old Emma Hall will be taking over, according to preliminary election results.
In the only race for county office that didn't include an incumbent, the unaffiliated crime-scene investigator had 57 percent of the vote as of 1 a.m., when 72 percent of projected votes had been tallied countywide. Hall's opponent, 49-year-old Daniel Pruett, also ran as an unaffiliated candidate.
In all of the other county seats that were up for election this fall, the incumbent Democrats were poised to keep their jobs as of 1 a.m.
Incumbent Cindy Domenico, running to keep her seat on the Boulder County Board of Commissioners, was topping Republican Dick Murphy and Libertarian Eva Kosinski with 63 percent of the votes. Clerk and Recorder Hillary Hall was leading Republican Daniel Martin with 70 percent of the votes, and Treasurer Robert Hullinghorst was beating his opponent, Republican Marty Neilson, with 67 percent of the votes, according to preliminary results.
Assessor Jerry Roberts was ahead of Republican Joel Champion with 65 percent of the votes, and Sheriff Joe Pelle and Surveyor Jason Emery were running unopposed.
“I can't say that I'm not disappointed, and I thought we would do better,” said Scott Starin, chairman of the Boulder County Republicans. “I think we were out-machined. The Democratic machine here in Boulder is formidable, and we have to address that in elections to come.”
Joel Davidow, chairman of the Boulder County Democrats, said he's proud of his party's showing.
“We've done a lot of work on the ground,” he said. “We've been preparing since the early part of the year, and I think all the hard work is paying off.”
The coroner's office will lose a combined 51 years of experience with the departure of Faure and his chief pathologist, John Meyer.
But Emma Hall, who was a death investigator and field-training officer for the Adams County Coroner's Office and a crime scene investigator and evidence analyst intern for the Denver Police Department, said her range of experience will help her guide the office through the upcoming transition.
“The coroner's position is a leadership position,” said Hall, who currently is in business consulting and management. “It's people management and working with a budget. There are a lot of different aspects to the position.
Pruett, who worked as a death investigator for the Boulder County Coroner's Office for 13 years and is currently chief deputy coroner in Jefferson County, said he plans to keep working for Jefferson County if the votes don't turn in his favor.
“I'm surprised only because I always, in any election, make the assumption that the winner wins because of experience and qualifications,” Pruett said. “I always forget about the political aspect and the fact that it's a contest.”