Democrats fared well in Colorado during Tuesday’s mid-term election, from the governor’s race, to congressional and state house races. Many of the Republican incumbents who represent Garfield County were re-elected, but results suggest Democrats put up a strong fight.
Republican incumbent Tom Jankovsky won a third term as Garfield County Commissioner; he defeated Democratic challenger Paula Stepp by less than 1,000 votes. Jankovsky said this was by far the most competitive race he’s had. He said that Stepp had momentum going into the fall.
“[She had] backing, volunteers, excitement, synergy,” he said.
Jankovsky said the performance by the Democrats does make him think demographics in Garfield County are changing.
Gretchen Brogdon, the chair of the Garfield County Democratic Party, says Democrats in the county voted at higher rates this election than they have in a while. She also thinks there are way more left-leaning independent voters in the county than people think.
“We opened an office in Rifle this year. We’ve had more and more people show up to that office and say, ‘Thank you for showing up here, we didn’t know there was anyone else in this area,’ when there are thousands and left-leaning progressives in western Garfield [County],” she said.
Nonetheless, there’s not much change coming from the 2018 midterms, as far as representation in Garfield County. Republican incumbents won: Bob Rankin beat Colin Wilhelm for the House District 57 seat. Scott Tipton beat Diane Mitsch Bush to represent Colorado’s third congressional district.
That said, Jared Polis, a Democrat and the next governor of Colorado, carried Garfield County slightly over Republican candidate Walker Stapleton.