Who says voters stop reading their ballots when they get to the judges? Terry Gilmore and Jolene Blair, two former prosecutors who worked on the Timothy Masters murder case in Fort Collins and were subsequently appointed by former Governor Bill Owens as judges in 2001, were tossed out of their jobs by voters on Tuesday, reports The Denver Post. More than 60 percent of voters cast ballots against Gilmore and Blair, a showing that “voters made a conscious decision that these two were not fit to be judges,” says Troy Krenning, who helped lead the Committee for Judicial Justice’s campaign against them.
Gilmore and Blair, who in 1999 pushed for Masters’ conviction in the murder of Peggy Hettrick, are among three of the 131 judges and justices up for retention in the state who will be removed. Two years ago, a visiting judge overturned Masters’ conviction, saying DNA evidence indicated someone else was the murderer, setting the stage for Masters’ release from prison, a multi-million-dollar legal settlement, and the censuring of Gilmore and Blair (although the censure found that neither judge deliberately concealed evidence from the court). Nonetheless, the Fort Collins Coloradoan editorial board writes that “local voters paid close attention and held tight to their responsibilities. No party, no candidate should walk away overconfident.”