Half of La Plata County caucuses failed to vote in DA race

Thursday, March 3, 2016 10:42 PM

Vote totals for the two Democrats running for 6th Judicial district attorney weren't available Wednesday morning because only about half of the precincts took a vote, said Jean Walter, chairwoman of the La Plata County Democrats.

"A lot of the precincts were confused and didn't know what they were supposed to do," Walter said. "Others were running so late because of the turnout for president, they didn't have time."

She declined to release the numbers from the precincts that did take a vote.

Candidate Christian Champagne, the assistant district attorney, called the caucuses a "smashing success" on his Facebook page Wednesday morning.

"I think everybody did their very best to run an excellent caucus," Champagne told The Durango Herald on Wednesday. "It's disappointing, but I'm optimistic they are going to be able to find a solution that reflects the support I received last night at the caucuses."

In the precincts visited by Herald reporters Tuesday night, Champagne was the victor. Precinct 21 cast 19 votes for Champagne and one vote for challenger Ben Lammons. Champagne had overwhelming support at Precinct 4 at Needham Elementary, although Precinct 6 was more evenly divided.

Walter said she intends to speak with state officials in the next few days to figure out how the county's Democrats should proceed with the race.

Lammons did not return calls for comment on Tuesday.

Officials at the Colorado Democratic Party in Denver also did not respond for comment.