Manuel Torres

Jaylyn Hawks and Manuel Torres were the top two finishers in Grand County’s only County Council Primary election, eliminating Russell S. Pogue. Results were tabulated just after 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 24, in what was the county’s first election to rely exclusively on mail-in voting.

Hawks and Torres will go on to compete against each other for a seat on the County Council in the general election on Tuesday, November 4, representing Grand County’s District No. 3 which includes Election Precincts Nos. 5 and 11.

Hawks received 315 votes and Torres received 237 votes, besting Pogue, who came in third with 82 votes.Top vote-getter

Hawks said she was very happy with the support she received from residents in her district.

“I’m so pleased with the election results and appreciate the voters – for all three candidates – who mailed in ballots in record numbers,” Hawks said. “I’m looking forward to the general election. I owe a huge thanks to my campaign team – there are a lot of great people backing me. I am honored at the prospect of representing the residents of this beautiful and unique county.”

Torres said he had not campaigned much leading up to the primary, but said he would now be making his case more aggressively.

“This race is just starting,” he said. “Now that it’s down to two, I will be getting after it.”

After being eliminated, Pogue was gracious about the result of his first foray into politics.

“It was a learning experience,” he said. “I appreciate everyone who voted for me and I wish Jaylyn and Manuel the best.”

Pogue was already looking ahead to the next opportunity to get involved in county government.

“I look forward to trying again in four years,” he said.

Top vote-getter Jaylyn Hawks did not respond to requests for comment about the election.

Forty-nine percent of voters returned their ballots, an especially high percentage. In the 2012 primary, by comparison, just 10 percent of voters participated in the election.

Grand County clerk Diana Carroll was ebullient about the level of voter participation.

“I couldn’t be happier,” she said. “This was a great test for us and it went very smoothly,” she said.

In addition to the seat being contested by Hawks and Torres, two other council members will be decided upon in November.

In District No. 1, Kim Call and Chris Baird will vie for a seat. There is also an “at- large” council seat – one that can be voted on by all Grand County residents – that is being sought by Mary Mullen McGann and James D. Nyland, Sr. All County Council members serve one 4-year term.

Voter participation high in county’s first mail-in election