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Bob Formwalt wins District 1 LPEA election

Incumbent board member Bob Formwalt was re-elected by La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) members to fill the director seat for District 1. Election results were announced at the LPEA Annual Meeting, held Saturday, May 12, at Sky Ute Casino and Resort, Ignacio.

Approximately 26 percent of LPEA’s 30,000-plus residential and commercial members returned ballots in the election, a higher percentage than typical, likely because incumbents in all four of LPEA’s districts were challenged, plus a slate of renewable energy proponents mounted a concerted election effort. In accordance with LPEA’s bylaws, annually one seat in each of LPEA’s four districts comes up for election.

“Typically, LPEA receives an average 20 percent return during elections,” said Greg Munro, LPEA CEO, noting that in 2011 only 14 percent of members cast ballots. “Because we are a cooperative we truly want our members to vote, so we were glad to see the higher turnout.”

Ballots were prepared in accordance with requirements of the La Plata County Clerk, and the county’s electronic voting equipment was used by FredrickZink & Associates, the independent accounting firm retained to tally the votes.

In District 1, Archuleta County, 1,900 of the approximately 7,600 LPEA members returned ballots with incumbent J. Robert (Bob) Formwalt receiving 975 and challenger Kirsten Skeehan receiving 925 votes.?

Formwalt was raised in southwest Colorado and completed his college education in Business Administration at Fort Lewis College. He spent the next 10 years in the banking industry at Belgrade State Bank of Belgrade, Mont., and Burns National Bank, Durango, with a focus on real estate and agricultural loans. Formwalt served 12 years as an Archuleta County commissioner, and has participated actively in the local community, as well as statewide, serving on numerous boards and commissions. Employed with his wife on their ranch east of Pagosa, he also currently works part time as a water commissioner for the Colorado Division of Water Resources.??

Incumbent Jerry McCaw received 1,218 votes to win over challenger Bruce Baizel, who received 979, in the director election in District 2, south and west La Plata County. Of the approximately 8,200 eligible voters, 2,197 cast ballots.

In District 3, the City of Durango, new candidate Britt Bassett received 1,390 votes over incumbent Robert (Bobby) Lieb’s 700. District 3 includes approximately 7,300 eligible voters, and 2,090 voted.

Candidate Heather Erb was elected as the director for District 4, earning 827 votes over challenger Ann McCoy Harold, who received 335 votes, and incumbent Herb Brodsky, who received 772. Of the approximate 7,500 eligible voters in District 4, which covers north and east La Plata County, 1,934 voted.

“As a company, LPEA exists to serve its members. Everyone has an economic interest and voice in LPEA’s future,” said Munro. “We thank those who cast their votes and took time to participate in the cooperative process.”

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