A trio of Republicans will seemingly retain their seats as El Paso County commissioners as Sallie Clark, Amy Lathen and Dennis Hisey appear headed for victory in early returns Tuesday.

Clark and Hisey, who’ve already served eight years on the board, are winning third terms while Lathen, appointed by a vacancy committee in January 2008, is headed toward victory in her second election.

"This is a great night to be a Republican," Hisey said during the GOP gathering at the Doubletree Hotel Tuesday night.

Hisey is facing a challenge from Democrat Doskor Hanchett Jr. and is leading 47 percent to 36 percent in District 4. Kathy Payne of the American Constitution Party has 5 percent and the Green Party’s Bradley Harris 2 percent.

In District 3, Clark leads Democrat John Morris 52 percent to 39 percent. Morris had attacked Clark's integrity, particularly on the controversial term limits issue.

"All I can say is I really worked very hard to take the high road," Clark said. "I didn't do any negative campaigning. I tried to run on my record, on the projects that we've done, on the things that I'm proud of serving this community, on all the things I want to continue to get done for El Paso County and District 3. I tried to stay focused on positive outcomes."

Lathen garnered 68 percent against Green Party candidate Karyna Lemus in District 2. 

A Democrat hasn’t served as county commissioner since Stan Johnson resigned the post in 1975.

Victory by the trio of commissioners  means the five-member board will be unchanged for at least the next two years.

Contact Bob Stephens: 636-0276 Twitter @bobgstephens

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