Jeffco Schools: Newkirk, Williams, Witt win

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Jefferson County constituents voted in three conservative candidates to Districts 1, 2 and 5 in the general election Tuesday.

Conservative candidates Julie Williams, John Newkirk and Ken Witt showed an early lead in the races after polls closed at 7 p.m Tuesday evening.

Wednesday morning results indicated Julie Williams won over opponent Tonya Aultman-Bettridge with 76,706 to 48,414 votes, about 61 percent to 39 percent.

“I think the people have spoken, it's because of my boldness — I spoke out on some issues that weren't being talked about and now they are,” Williams said Tuesday evening.

Williams is a Colorado native who grew up in the Jeffco school district. She has served with the Special Education Advisory Committee in Jeffco for more than four years and is currently a co-chair with the organization. She has also served in several aspects of the special needs community and owns an orthodontic practice serving children in Jefferson County.

“We are honored and humbled to focus on increased academic achievement, parental and community involvement. I believe this team can move those and other issues forward,” Witt said, referring to the joint effort of the three like-minded candidates.

In the race for the District 2 seat, Newkirk defeated opponent Jeff Lamontagne by 67,289 to 56,892, a margin of about 54 percent to 46 percent, in results posted Wednesday morning.

“As a lifetime Jeffco resident and graduate of Jeffco schools, it's very humbling for me to be a part of this board,” Newkirk said.

Newkirk grew up in Jeffco and continues to stay active within the district. He has participated with several youth activities and volunteered with youth programs at his church. He currently serves on the Commission for Judicial Performance in Jeffco, the Kiwanis Club, WatchDOGS, and the Colorado Association of Funders. He is the current president and owner of Colorado Computer Associates, Inc. in Denver.

In the District 5 race, candidate Witt tallied 72,981 votes to 52,153 for Gordon Van de Water, a margin of about 58 percent to 42 percent.

“It's humbling to see the results,” Witt said. “The community of Jeffco is ready for genuine reform in education.”

Witt is a Colorado native who has taken an active role in the Jefferson County School District with several PTA organizations and accountability committees. He is currently a technology and information security executive and has held several roles in citizens groups and different businesses.

Candidates Tonya Aultman-Bettridge, Jeff Lamontagne and Gordon Van de Water could not be reached for comment election night.

Aultman-Bettridge has lived in Jefferson County since 2004, and has a background in youth work specifically youth and family public policies.

Jeff Lamontagne, grew up in Colorado and moved to Lakewood in 2000. He founded the Second Wind Fund, an organization which provides services to students who are at risk for suicide and is the current executive director of the Bluff Lake Nature Center in Denver.

Gordon Van de Water moved to Colorado in the early 1980s and has played an active role in education as an education policy analyst and consultant. He is currently retired.