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Boulder County elections: 42 votes separate Stolzmann, Shively in Commissioner District 3 primary

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

The race for the Democratic primary for the Boulder County Commissioner District 3 seat is close enough to potentially trigger a mandatory recount, according to voting returns posted at 9:21 p.m. Wednesday.

The Boulder County Elections website’s most recent batch of ballot returns show Louisville Mayor Ashley Stolzmann maintaining an extremely narrow lead, with 27,095 votes to Shively’s 27,053.

Per Colorado State Law, if the margin of votes between the two candidates in an election is less than or equal to 0.5% of the winner’s vote, a mandatory recount is required. While the 42-vote margin in this race is equal to 0.15% of Stolzmann’s 27,095 votes, the results are not yet final. A final batch of results, including ballots cast by overseas voters and cast by voters who were given the chance to fix mistakes they made the first time they cast their ballot, will be posted by July 7. Then, the results must be certified by the Canvass Board, which is scheduled for July 18 in Boulder County.

Shively said late Wednesday that although the election is up in the air she is maintaining positivity.

“As a first-time candidate, even a tight race like this feels so humbling and I’m honored,” she wrote in a text message. “Over 27,000 people trusted me to help lead this County! I will anxiously be awaiting the next round of results next week.”

“The most rewarding part (of the campaign) has been meeting people. I’ve learned so much about a variety of topics that have a lot of promise for our future, such as regenerative agriculture and pollinator highways,” she wrote. “I’ve made deep and lasting connections with some of the brightest and most dedicated leaders in our community that will stay with me long after this campaign.”

Stolzmann could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Because there are no Republican Party candidates, the winner of this election 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.”

Stolzmann, who also works as a chemical engineer, touts 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.

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

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

A recount shall only be required after the Canvass Board certifies the original vote count, according to the Boulder County Clerk’s website. If the final vote margin is narrow enough to trigger a recount, that recount must be ordered by July 25. Candidates or other interested party must submit a notarized written request by July 26.