VOTE 2020: 3 Adams County commissioner seats won by Democrats, incumbents

522

County Race Total
District 1 Commissioner
DEM: Eva Henry
120647120647
District 1 Commissioner
REP: Alex "Skinny" Winkler
8096680966
District 2 Commissioner
DEM: Chaz Tedesco
1279412794
District 2 Commissioner
UNITY: James Treibert
5135751357
District 5 Commissioner
DEM: Lynn Baca
114880114880
District 5 Commissioner
REP: Phil Covarrubias
8471584715

AURORA | Adams County voters decided three commission seats Tuesday. As of Wednesday morning, all three seats appear to have been won by Democrats.

COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 1 

As of 8 p.m., Democrat Eva Henry has clocked a strong lead to continue representing Adams County’s 1st county commissioner district, which mostly includes Thornton and Northglenn. 

An incumbent and longtime north metroplex lawmaker Henry, led Republican opponent Alex “Skinny” Winkler by about 20 points with 73% of votes counted. 

Henry has represented this district since 2012 and fended off challengers in the eight years since. 

This commissioner district is rapidly growing. According to Henry, the Denver Regional Council of Governments has projected Adams County will grow the fastest of any Colorado county in the next two decades. 

Henry describes herself as a social justice advocate. Henry championed a move to consolidate all human services agencies in one building, the Pete Mirelez Human Services Center. She has led county commission decisions to curb oil and gas development on county lands over concerns about health and safety and climate change. 

Oil and gas production in Adams County increased dramatically over the last two years, although market constraints posed by the pandemic-induced recession have cut production levels in 2020.  

“It doesn’t matter if you are pro drilling or anti drilling, industrial uses do not belong 500 feet from a child’s bedroom,” she told the Sentinel, referring to the current state rule preventing drilling within 500 feet from a home.  State rulemakers have moved to expand that buffer zone. 

As a commissioner, Henry has overseen the expansion of the county’s safety net during the pandemic. In April, the county received $90 million in federal dollars through the CARES Act. Some of that money flowed into the City of Aurora. The county also set up its own short-term mortgage and rent assistance programs.

COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 2

Early results have Charles “Chaz” Tedesco securing his reelection bid for Adams County’s 2nd commission district, which includes bits of Thornton, Commerce City and Henderson. His challenger this year is James Treibert, a Unity Party candidate.

As of 7:55 p.m., Tedesco had captured more than 70 percent of the 175,000 votes cast. Adams County officials had counted more than 72 percent of votes cast at that time. 

Tedesco told the Sentinel it “feels great” to have the green light to continue Adams County projects. He’s focused on supporting local businesses and tenants during the COVID-19 crises and building up foster programs and more open space projects. 

Tedesco will continue to represent this swath of the north Denver metroplex, which includes major interchanges including Interstates 25, 270 and 76. District 2 also includes the Rocky Mountain Arsenal wildlife refuge.

A Democratic steelworker and union chief, Tedesco first won election for this slice of Adams County in 2013.

His personal journey influenced his work on the county commission. As a child, Tedesco was placed in various foster homes before he landed with a family in Northglenn. He’s now a champion of a county program finding emergency foster care for children. 

Tedesco also sits on many regional and transportation-minded boards and commissions, extending his influence far beyond District 2, including the Airport Coordinating Committee, Aurora Economic Development Board of Directors and Aerotropolis Regional Transit Authority. 

COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 5 

With almost three-quarters of votes counted, Democrat Lynn Baca is leading Republican counterpart Phil Covarrubias to represent Adams County’s 5th commissioner district. 

As of 8 p.m., Baca was reported to have captured about 58 percent of votes cast compared to Covarrubias’ 42%. 

Baca is gunning to represent the geographically largest district in the county, which wraps from Brighton around Denver International Airport to north Aurora and the expanse of prairie to the east. It’s a microcosm of the county at large: a historically rural and suburban expanse that is rapidly urbanizing, presenting challenges for land management, affordability and transportation. 

She is in position to defeat Covarrubias, who briefly represented House District 56, which mirrors much of this Adams County district. 

Baca said she’ll focus on crafting oil and gas regulations that are “fair” on the council. 

On housing, she’s lamented that owning a home used to be a right of passage for young people, but that they’ve largely been priced out of the market. She said affordable housing is a priority for her.