Ryan Donahue gets some help from poll worker Kris MacPherson Nov. 7 at the Voter Services Center in the Adams County Human Services Building in Westminster. Credit: Scott Taylor

Challenger Amber Hott appeared to edge out incumbent Bruce Baker after a tight battle for the last vacant seat on the Westminster City Council. Baker led from the moment the polls closed on Tuesday. But that changed on Wednesday afternoon when Hott pulled ahead. As of Nov. 9, she led Baker for the seat by 139 votes. She has 10,093 votes and Baker has 9,954.

Hott’s win would be significant because the final votes could shift the city board from majority conservative to progressive.

Other results were clearer earlier.

Newcomers Kristine Ireland and Claire Carmelia jumped out to sizable leads in the Nov. 7 election, claiming two of three open seats on the council. Incumbent Rich Seymour, who has served as a city councilor since 2019, was not re-elected, according to 2023 election results. 

Hott described the board race as a “nail biter,” and said she feels fantastic about the results.

“Right now, I’m looking forward to working with our other council members and residents to continue to make Westminster a great place,” she said. “My biggest issue is the unaffordability in Westminster, for everyone from our young families all the way to our seniors. I think there are many ways we can tackle that.”

The 39-year-old is a senior legislative aide in the Colorado Senate, and a 14-year city resident.

While she acknowledged her win changes the political bent of the council, she’s confident the seven-member board will work together well.

“I wouldn’t let that shift make the residents worry too much,” she said. “The current council is able to work together. And I think we’re all reasonable people who can also work together. We need to because that’s what’s best for the city.”

In all, 10 candidates were seeking three vacant seats on the council. Although Scott Shilling and Baker were not elected, they and Ireland had run as a slate, describing themselves as common-sense candidates. 

Ireland said she’d hoped Shilling and Baker would join her on council, but is adjusting to the idea of moving forward without them.

“It’s been a roller coaster for sure,” she said. “I’m catching my breath, hoping to meet some of the other councilors soon, see where they’re at, what they want to do and go from there.

“I’m optimistic we’ll work together but I don’t think we’ll see eye-to-eye on everything. But I think it’s good to have different viewpoints and perspectives, and I’m hopeful we’ll reach common ground.”

Carmelia said she looks forward to working with everyone in the city.

“I am hopeful about the future of our city and ready to tackle the challenges we face,” she said. “I’m excited about the many opportunities to come for collaboration and building trust with my colleagues, city staff and residents for a Westminster that works for all of us.”

Seymour said he will continue to be involved in Westminster. 

“I always respect the will of the voters; I think that’s important to our process,” he said. “I’ve been so blessed for the last four years, and I’ll continue to do what I did before I ran for city council — and that serves our city in many different capacities.”  

Other candidates included Jeff Jones, Karen Kalavity, Scott Shilling, Paul Page and Timothy Pegg. 

Community elections are dynamic, so this story may be updated as new information becomes available.

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