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Elaina Shively, left, and Ashley Stolzmann (Courtesy photo)
Elaina Shively, left, and Ashley Stolzmann (Courtesy photo)

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to note that there is a candidate who is attempting to petition onto the general election ballot who, if successful, would face the winner of the Democratic primary.

Update: According to unofficial returns posted by the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder’s office at 12:58 a.m., Ashley Stolzmann had 50.68% of the vote with 22,131 votes and Elaina Shively had 49.32% of the vote with 21,450 votes.

In Tuesday’s Democratic primary election, Louisville Mayor Ashley Stolzmann narrowly pulled ahead of opponent Elaina Shively for the party’s nomination for Boulder County Commissioner District 3.

Though unofficial results left the race too close to call by publication deadline, ballot returns on the Boulder County Elections website showed Stolzmann in the lead with 50.86% of the votes. Shively, in comparison, had 49.14% of the votes.

Stolzmann commanded an early lead as preliminary voter results, released at 7 p.m., showed her as the forerunner. As of 8:38 p.m. Stolzmann held on to the lead, with a total of  20,041 votes to Shiveley’s 19,360.

Because there are no Republican Party candidates, should Stolzmann win tonight’s election, she will replace County Commissioner District 3 Matt Jones, unless an unaffiliated candidate successfully petitions onto the ballot. So far, only Lafayette resident Andrew O’Connor has announced his intention to seek enough signatures to petition onto the ballot for this seat in the general election.

Jones, who was elected in 2018, chose not to run for another term after celebrating his 20th anniversary of remission from leukemia.

Instead, he lent his full endorsement to Stolzmann, calling her a “proven leader.”

The pair worked together on recovery efforts following Colorado’s most destructive natural disaster, the Marshall Fire.

Stolzmann was first elected as mayor of Louisville in 2019, and in her two and a half year tenure, she led the small town through COVID, the King Soopers shooting in neighboring Boulder, and the Marshall Fire.

“As mayor, Ashley has provided strong and compassionate leadership during the most turbulent and tragic time in Louisville’s history,” said Jones of his support for Stolzmann. “In my 16 years as a county commissioner, state senator and representative I have not seen a candidate so eminently qualified for the job as Ashley Stolzmann.”

Stolzmann, who also works as a chemical engineer, touted a progressive platform in her race for commissioner that centered on disaster response and preparedness, transportation, housing and homelesness prevention and support, as well as climate action.

Stolzmann was not available for comment on Tuesday evening.

Shively, who works as the director for the Center for Prevention and Restorative Justice at the Boulder County District Attorney’s office, focused her campaign on reforming community safety and justice within the county. She, like Stolzmann, was highly vocal about disaster preparedness and climate action in her platform.

Shively is supported by Boulder County Commissioners Claire Levy and Marta Loachamin.

Shively was not immediately available for comment on Tuesday evening, however her campaign manager, Nia Wassink, told the Camera that Shively and her team were staying optimistic.

“From the campaign perspective, we are still counting every single vote, we want to make sure that every single Boulder County voter has their voice heard. We are holding judgment, and staying positive,” said Wassink.

The Boulder County Board of Commissioners are elected to serve four year terms, and the commissioner for district 3 represents eastern Boulder County, including Louisville, Lafayette, Erie, Gunbarrel and Superior.

The next update online is expected at 12:30 a.m., according to the Boulder County’s Clerk’s Twitter account.