Voters extend RTA tax, re-elect Lee to Statehouse, Clark to County Commission

       In General Election news directly affecting the Westside, Pete Lee and Sallie Clark were re-elected Nov. 6, and the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (RTA) capital-improvement tax was extended another 10 years.
       Lee, a Democrat seeking a second two-year term as District 18 state legislator, defeated Republican challenger Jennifer George with 48.95 percent of the vote. George had 38.18 percent, while representatives of smaller parties claimed the rest. The district takes in the older Westside with Old Colorado City and the downtown area and Manitou.
       The district had slightly changed boundaries in the statewide reapportionment after 2010, including the addition of the Skyway neighborhood.
       In trying to keep its slim majority in the state Legislature, the Republi-cans had hoped to win D-18, which has nearly equal party registrations; instead, this and other setbacks gave the Legislature to the Democrats, who now have a majority in both houses as well as a sitting governor.
       “I am honored to be re-elected to represent the people of HD 18 and I am excited to get down to the work of the Legislature,” Lee said. “We will be focused on revitalizing the economy and helping businesses to create jobs. Over the next few weeks before the session begins in January, I will be working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to work for the best interests of all of the people of Colorado.”
       Clark, a two-term Republican, topped Democrat John Morris to win another four years in the District 3 county commissioner post. She garnered 34,276 votes to Morris' 25,557. Her district covers the west/southwest parts of El Paso County, including the Westside, where she lives.
       Morris had tried to make the race about Clark's support for a third- term ballot issue in the 2010 election - he got partial retribution when voters decided this time to change that back to two terms starting in 2014.
       “I greatly appreciate the opportunity to continue to work on Westside projects as the county commissioner representing District 3,” Clark said. “It's important for us to work together on important issues. I'm looking forward to building upon the foundation of getting things done for our community, including transportation projects (I-25/Cimarron and No Man's Land), public safety (law enforcement and fire prevention/recovery) and preventing child abuse (Not One More Child initiative), among others. My heartfelt thanks to the residents of the Westside and to District 3 for your support.”
       In Statehouse District 20, Republican incumbent Bob Gardner easily bested Democrat Michael Goldsborough, 23,773 to 11,638. Gardner has served three terms as District 21 state representative. The new district's boundaries changed somewhat with the state reapportionment (and got a new number), but the area still includes the northern part of the Westside.
       Voters overwhelmingly agreed to extend the current 2005-14 RTA capital sales tax of .55 percent on a dollar to 2015-24. The vote was 191,055 in favor and 49,405 opposed. A high-priority Westside project on the list, based on previous comments by local staff and elected officials, will be a $12 million upgrade to the “No Man's Land” area west of 31st Street, with work likely to begin in 2015.
       Republican 5th District Congressman Doug Lamborn was elected to a fourth two-year term with 65 percent of the vote. He had no Democrat opposition this time, but faced challenges from representatives of four smaller parties, with independent candidate Dave Anderson coming the closest with 17 percent.
       The district, which includes the Westside, takes in El Paso County and Lake, Park, Chaffee and Fremont counties
       Other races of possible Westside interest:
       Amendment 64 - The state voted, 54 to 46 percent, to legalize marijuana (one of two states in this election to do so). This means that after certain regulatory mechanisms (required in the amendment) are put place, the area will have retail stores selling the narcotic. The difference from such stores and the medical marijuana dispensaries that have existed for the past two years is that no doctor-issued card will be required, as long as the buyer is 21.
       In county ballot question 1A, poll results showed that County Sheriff Terry Maketa had made his case that his budget has become insufficient. In response, voters approved a .23 percent sales tax that will provide more funds for county public safety. The vote was 167,702 to 93,656.

Westside Pioneer article