Redmond makes history, unseats Monger in county commissioner race |

Redmond makes history, unseats Monger in county commissioner race

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Tim Redmond, current mayor of Hayden, has beat incumbent Routt County Commissioner Doug Monger for the seat that represents District 2 in the county.

As of 9 p.m. Tuesday, Redmond had a lead of just over 2,000 votes having received 8,316 votes to Monger’s 6,276 votes. Election officials anticipated there were about 600 votes in the county yet to be counted.

Redmond will be the first person of color to serve on the Routt County Board of Commissioners.

“It is an honor. I hate to say that I have had the opportunity to be the first Black in a lot of situations in my life,” Redmond said. “I look at someone like my son, who I think is smarter and more talented than me, and I look forward to the day when he walks into a situation and the fact that he is there as a person of color doesn’t really even matter.”

Redmond’s victory means a Democrat will hold each of the three seats on the commission. He centered his campaign on water, mental health and diversifying the local economy, with the last of the three being the most important in his eyes. But Redmond said the first thing he plans to do on the commission is to listen.

“You need to really evaluate what is going on around you to get a sense of the organization and how it works and what it looks like to you,” Redmond said. “You are walking in there with the outside eyes and maybe you are seeing it differently than the people who have been there for a while.”

The second thing Redmond said he wants to do is ask a lot of questions.

“I expect to ask a lot of questions, seek a lot of information and look to learn how the organization works and then to make it better,” Redmond said.

Diversifying the local economy was the major issue for Redmond as the county transitions away from coal with the Hayden Station power plant having announced plans to close in the next 20 years. Redmond has previously cited the large tax base the plant provides, as much as 36% that comes to Hayden Schools because of the plant.

Redmond was appointed to the Colorado Energy Impact Assistance Advisory Committee by Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, a position that Redmond said will allow him to ensure the Western Slope is represented at a state level.

Monger’s defeat ends a 20-year run on the Board of Commissioners. He was first elected in 2000. This was the first election where Monger ran as an Independent after switching his party affiliation from Democratic in 2019.

“I think there was a big blue wave that came over, and I didn’t agree with the Democratic position on things so I became an independent,” Monger said. “I have nothing to regret for that and wish Tim (Redmond) the best of luck.”

Monger has said the Democratic Party had evolved away from his ideals, and it would be disingenuous for him to maintain his membership in the party.

Monger has said that his proudest achievement as county commissioner has been improving the Yampa Valley Regional Airport, something he considers a crown jewel of the county. The chief issues of the campaign for Monger were climate change and the county’s energy future.

“I think Routt County is going to miss the rural representation that I provided,” Monger said. “I’m proud of what we have done.”

Routt County Commissioner Tim Corrigan also won reelection to his third term on Tuesday, running his race unopposed. Corrigan has represented District 1 which includes southern Routt County, since 2013.

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