On second count, Leerar appointed as commissioner

The Yuma County Republican Vacancy Committee finally were able to successfully appoint someone to the Yuma County Commissioner District 3 seat, Tuesday night.
Mike Leerar of Eckley eventually came out on top of three candidates, along with Jessie Vance of Eckley, and Gary Soehner of the Idalia area. Leerar received 20 out of 37 votes, Vance 16 and Soehner one. All the Central/Vacancy Committee members were present.
Leerar will fill out the final two years of District 3’s current term, with the seat coming up for election in 2024. The seat became open with the recent resignation of Robin Wiley, who had served 22 years as a county commissioner, and was in his sixth term.
Tuesday’s meeting actually was the second for the Vacancy Committee. It first met Sunday in Eckley. Vance won the vote in that meeting, but there was a snafu with the vote tally, requiring a second meeting Tuesday.
The Vacancy Committee is the same as the Yuma County Republican Central Committee — consisting of all precinct leaders, all Republican county elected officials and the county GOP officers.
When roll call was made Sunday at the Eckley Community Center, a total of 32 eligible voters were in attendance. Nominations were made for each candidate, followed by the candidate giving a brief speech.
The ballots then were passed out, with Yuma County GOP Vice-Chair Greg Brophy stating there were 35 eligible voters in attendance. The votes then were taken into the community center’s kitchen for counting, while Republican commissioner candidate Adam Gates gave a brief speech and took questions.
Prior to announcing the vote, Brophy corrected himself and said there were 32 eligible voters. A candidate needs 50 percent of the vote, plus one, to win, which with 32 votes means 17 is the magic number.
The vote tally was announced with Vance getting 17, Leerar 14 and Soehner two.
The meeting then was adjourned by County Chair Michelle Smith.
The only problem was no one immediately realized that the votes total equaled 33, not 32. It was not clear how an extra vote got into the ballot box.
Therefore, the need to reconvene and do another vote Tuesday.