Two well-known, well-connected Republican women appeared on their way to victory Tuesday night in races for two seats on the Board of El Paso County Commissioners.
Holly Williams, the wife of Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, and Cami Bremer, the wife of former county GOP chairman Eli Bremer, had wide leads over their Democratic opponents for the District 1 and District 5 seats, respectively.
At 10 p.m., Holly Williams had 31,500 votes, or about 71 percent, to Democratic candidate Frank DeLalla’s roughly 13,000 votes, or about 29 percent.
In District 5, Bremer had 19,800 votes, or about 60 percent. Democrat Kari Frederick had about 13,000 votes, or nearly 40 percent.
A Democrat has not been elected to the Board of County Commissioners since Stan Johnson won the District 1 seat in 1970.
Holly Williams became the county’s public trustee in 1999, appointed to the position by then-Gov. Bill Owens after she and her husband helped run his two gubernatorial campaigns.
"I'm excited to get started, and I really appreciate the people's confidence in me," Williams said. "I'm happy I won."
Her husband served as the District 1 commissioner for two terms before he was elected to his current office. The district currently is represented by term-limited commissioners President Darryl Glenn and covers a swath of northern El Paso County that includes Black Forest and part of Monument.
Williams, an administrator at the county’s Household Hazardous Waste Facility, beat out former state legislative aide Calandra Vargas in the June primary for the Republican nomination.
A focal point of Williams’ campaign was her pledge to fund transportation projects on local roads without raising taxes. She also emphasized the need for funding for core county services, such as public safety.
"I think we still have a lot of needs to address, road-wise," she told The Gazette on Tuesday night.
Her opponent, DeLalla, is a political outsider who has spent years working in program management and business development for defense contractors such as Lockheed Martin and L3 Technologies, formerly L-3 Communications. He pledged to fight for responsible land use decisions — especially in the fast-growing District 1, where limited water supply and traffic capacity on local roads are of chief concerns to residents.
“I just called Holly to congratulate her on wining a great campaign and to wish her the best," DeLalla told The Gazette Tuesday night. "I gave it a good shot, but she came out on top. And that’s all good.”
District 5 is represented by term-limited Commissioner Peggy Littleton and includes much of central Colorado Springs east of Interstate 25.
Bremer, who defeated Vickie Tonkins in the Republican primary, previously held positions as the governmental affairs director for the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, a public communications specialist with the City of Colorado Springs, and a program manager at the Penrose Cancer Center.
"I'm honored and humbled that El Paso County citizens are trusting me," Bremer said Tuesday night. "I'm excited that this looks like it's going to be a very strong commission that's going to work well together."
As a commissioner, she hopes to foster a good working relationship with the Colorado Springs City Council, ensure that the 4th Judicial District Attorney and sheriff have the funding they need to keep residents safe, and improve and maintain county infrastructure, such as roads and stormwater systems, she said.
Bremer's opponent, Frederick, runs a local bed-and-breakfast that allows marijuana use with her husband, Chauncey Frederick, who is running for county coroner.
Frederick told the Gazette in March she decided to run after she sought to expand her business and county staff told her not to waste her money because commissioners wouldn’t approve her land-use application.
Before the June primary, Frederick said dissatisfaction with the national political landscape under President Donald Trump had empowered her to run.
"I truly hope and wish that she (Bremer) fills the constituents' needs during her years of service to come," Frederick said Tuesday night. "I wish her and her district the best."