State Sen. Jean White and state Rep. Randy Baumgardner will face off in the
June 26 statewide primary election in hopes of winning the GOP nomination
for the redrawn state Senate District 8.
Both incumbents garnered the necessary 30 percent of delegates at the
Republican state assembly Friday to win a spot on the ballot, according to
Dave Merritt, Garfield County Republican Party chairman.
At the assembly Friday, GOP delegates held a series of meetings to nominate
candidates for multi-county seats such as district attorney, state
representative and senator, University of Colorado regent and U.S. Congress.
Elena Campbell of Winter Park, Kelly Couey of Silt and Summit County Sheriff
John Minor offered nomination speeches for Baumgardner.
Gregg Rippy of Glenwood Springs offered the nomination speech for White.
Baumgardner goes into the race with an edge among party insiders after
collecting 119 delegate votes on Friday compared to 60 for White.
"I was surprised and humbled that I got the number and percentages of votes
that I did," Baumgardner said Friday.
"I want to thank everybody who voted for me and supported me, and hopefully
will continue to support me in the future. I look forward to serving
northwest Colorado Senate District 8 as their next state senator, if elected
to that position," he added.
White could not be reached for comment.
The winner of the June 26 primary will face Democrat Emily Tracy of
Breckenridge. She made prior bids for a seat in the state Legislature in
2002 and 2004.
The new Senate District 8, redrawn in the reapportionment process of 2011 to
reflect the changing demographics reported in the 2010 Census, includes
Garfield, Grand, Jackson, Moffat, Routt, Rio Blanco and Summit counties.
The reapportionment boundary changes excluded Baumgardner, a Jackson County
resident, from his current house district. The new boundaries place Jackson,
Grand and Gilpin counties into House District 13 with a large share of
Boulder County, making a Republican win difficult.
The reconstituted Senate District 8 gives Republicans a 10,000-vote
advantage over Democrats, with 35 percent of voters registered as
Republicans, 24 percent as Democrats and 40 percent unaffiliated.
Baumgardner worked for the Colorado Department of Transportation for more
than a decade and has represented House District 57 for the last four years.
White took over the Senate District 8 seat in 2010 from her husband, Al
White, after Gov. John Hickenlooper appointed him to lead the state tourism
‹ Summit Daily News reporter Caddie Nath and Sky-Hi News reporter
Tonya Bina contributed to this report.