Between now and early November, Wheat Ridge voters will decide on whether to extend their city’s sales tax and which candidates will fill two empty council seats. Wheat Ridge and Edgewater voters will also pick two representatives to sit on the Jefferson County Board of Education.
The general election is set for Nov. 7, and ballots will be mailed to all eligible voters on Oct. 16. Vote centers will open on Oct. 30, which is also the last day to return ballots by mail.
Wheat Ridge Council Contests
In Wheat Ridge, two of four city council positions are contested (in 2019 there was only one). Clarence Fullard (www.clarencefullard.com) and Gretchen “Jenny” Snell (www.votejennysnell.com) are running for the District I seat held by Judy Hutchinson. And in District IV, Dan Larson (www.dan4districtiv.com) and Larry Mathews are vying for the seat to be vacated by Valerie Nosler-Beck. Mathews was the District IV incumbent in the 2019 election, but was unseated by Nosler-Beck in a three-candidate contest.
Four incumbents are running unopposed for second terms: City Clerk James “Steve” Kirkpatrick, City Treasurer Chris Miller, District II councilor Rachel Hultin and District IV councilor Korey Stites.
The city charter states that all special and general elections shall be nonpartisan, and that no candidate for any municipal office shall run under any party label.
Keep On Taxing?
The city’s half-cent temporary sales and use tax is up for re-election (in a manner of speaking): voters will be asked whether to extend the current tax up to 20 years to raise $75 million to fund a plethora of public infrastructure projects: sidewalk, bike lane and street improvements; sidewalk gap construction; and drainage and floodplain improvements.
The current tax was approved in 2016 to raise $38.5 million to fund a variety of projects, including Clear Creek Crossing access ramps, Anderson Park improvements, Wadsworth Boulevard reconstruction, and street and pedestrian improvements surrounding the Wheat Ridge • Ward Road Commuter Rail Station. That tax is expected to reach its revenue cap and expire sometime next year.
School Board Battles
On the Jefferson County Board of Education, two incumbents chose not to run, and five candidates are vying for their seats. These races are also non-partisan.
In District 3, which includes Wheat Ridge, Arvada and north-central Lakewood, Michelle Applegate (www.michelleforjeffcoschools.com) and Thomas Wicke (www.teamwicke.com) are running. That seat is held by Board President Stephanie Schooley, whose term ends this November.
In District 4, which includes Edgewater and central/south-central Lakewood, three candidates are on the ballot: Amara Hildebrand (www.amara4jeffcokids.com), Erin Kenworthy (www.erin4jeffcoschools.com/home) and Joel Newton (joelforjeffcoschools.com). Second Vice President Susan Miller currently holds that seat, and has chosen not to run for a second term.
Call JeffCo Elections for more ballot information at 303-271-8111, or visit www.jeffco.us/396/Elections.