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The Great Race

Third nomination could
hinge on provisional ballots

Larry Craig stood outside the Republican Party headquarters Tuesday night, sometimes propping his foot up on the window ledge and peering inside.
“I’ve got this in my blood,” the 40-year political veteran said, as totals were written on the wall in black marker. The race was close. With 28 of the 29 precincts reporting, Craig was just ahead of newcomer Alex Patton.
But when the unofficial election results came in, it seemed Craig’s career — at least on the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners — could come to an end, for now.
A phone call to County Manager Stan Kiser from the Board of Elections office linked the crowd outside to the newest totals.
Tom Anderson, 2020.
Marie Moore, 1,868.
Alex Patton, 1867.
And Larry Craig, 1835.
Craig, the only candidate to stay at Republican headquarters until the final votes were tabulated, told those gathered around him that provisional ballots could make the difference.
Just 32 votes separated Craig from Patton.
The provisional ballots — votes from people who are new to the area, who have changed names, who had problems with registration — total more than 32, Craig said. Those votes will be opened Tuesday.
Craig said he was disappointed but trying to remain optimistic.
“I don’t know what to think,” he said. “It’s somewhat saddening, but I’m most appreciative to all the people who do support and did work with me. There’s a slim chance — we’re close enough to win yet.”
Anderson garnered 17 percent of the votes. Moore and Patton each got 15.7 percent, just scraping by Craig’s 15.4 percent. Former commissioners Jim Hallman and Terry Brotherton received about 13 percent each (1,584 and 1,564, respectively). Albert “Danny” Glenn got 9.8 percent (1,174).
Eastern Lincoln County residents came out in full force in support of Anderson and Moore, both Denver residents and both endorsed by the East Lincoln Political Action Committee.
Patton, who was leaving the Board of Elections office at the end of the night, knows his 32-vote separation from Craig doesn’t mean he’ll necessarily get the nomination.
“It’s not over yet,” he said. “There theoretically could be a run-off.”
Patton was appreciative to those who helped him during his campaign.
“I want to thank my Lord, my family and the voters of Lincoln County for their trust in me,” he said.
Anderson pointed out that getting the primary nod is just another step toward the November general elections.
“We’re halfway there, and we have the general election to deal with now, and it will be a situation where there are three seats available and five people seeking those seats,” he said. “Our work is cut out for us.”
Anderson thanked his family for their support and voters for their confidence.
Moore said she appreciated those who voted for her, and said the results were a sign that county residents were ready for a change. The fact she won the nomination is still soaking in, she said.
“Last night and probably still this morning I think I’ve just been overwhelmed,” she said.
Provisional ballots will be counted and election totals certified Tuesday.
by Alice Smith

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