The Democratic race to be clerk and recorder in Pueblo County (effectively the election that counts because Pueblo leans strongly Democratic) is currently coming down to just eight votes out of more than six thousand with 119 out of 131 precincts counted.
Gilbert ”Bo” Ortiz has 3,331 votes; Rick Palacio has 3,324. The open seat was vacated by longtime clerk Chris Munoz, a Democrat.According to the Pueblo Chieftan:
Candidates for clerk are two young men in their 30s – City Councilman Gilbert “Bo” Ortiz and Rick Palacio, who left a job as a legislative aide in Denver to campaign full time. They were the only survivors out of six candidates who announced for the office before the county nominating assembly in April.
Ortiz has served two years on council and will be required to leave that position if he is elected clerk. He is the son of Diana and Gil Ortiz, longtime labor leaders and Democratic party workers, and his campaign has received large contributions from labor unions.
Palacio became knowledgeable about the Help America Vote Act through his work as a legislative aide. He also is a local native, whose family operates Palace Nursery in Pueblo West.
Both candidates expect election issues to consume a lot their time if they are elected – and both say long lines at the courthouse for license plates is probably the biggest issue for voters.
The winner will face Republican Marla Reichert, who also ran for the office in 2002.
Morning will tell who prevails in the close race.