Linke, Baumgardner prevail in GOP primaries
Ryan Summerlin June 27, 2012
GOP challenger Merrit Linke handily defeated incumbent District 2 Grand County Commissioner Nancy Stuart in Tuesday’s primary election, 1,339 votes to 764, according to preliminary unofficial totals from the Clerk and Recorder’s office.
Meanwhile, in the hotly contested race to determine who the Republican candidate would be for the newly created Colorado Senate District 8 seat, state Rep. Randy Baumgardner of Hot Sulphur Springs defeated state Sen. Jean White of Hayden, according to reports out of Glenwood Springs that indicate White has conceded the race.
In Grand County, Baumgardner defeated White 1,282 votes to 845 for White, according to unofficial results.
Grand County Clerk and Recorder Sara Rosene said 2,742 ballots were counted in the county Tuesday and 42 ballots remain to be verified. Overseas voters also have until July 5 to get their ballots in, she said.
Below is the Summit Daily News story calling the Senate District 8 race for Baumgardner:
By Caddie Nath
BRECKENRIDGE – Challenger Rep. Randy Baumgardner won concise victories in all seven districts, securing 58 percent of the Republican vote over incumbent Sen. Jean White Tuesday.
In the race for State Senate District 8, Baumgardner won Summit County with 442 votes over White’s 315.
“I was pleasantly surprised that this turned out the way it did,” Baumgardner said moments after taking a concession call from White. “I was concerned at several points and didn’t know exactly how it was going to go.”
Baumgardner will now head into the general election to face Breckenridge Democrat Emily Tracy.
Senate District 8 encompasses Summit, Grand, Jackson, Routt, Moffat, Rio Blanco and Garfield counties.
Republicans in every county backed Baumgardner, who won 70 percent of the vote in Jackson and 60 percent in both Grand and Garfield, according to unofficial election results.
White said she was disappointed with the results that ended an ugly primary race marked by attack ads.
“I feel sorry for those that supported him,” White said. “His lies worked, and my truth didn’t.”
Baumgardner secured a strong early lead in the campaign, nearly edging White off the ballot at the Republican state assembly in April.
But both candidates spent tens of thousands on campaign materials, and both came under fire by their opponents and third parties questioning their commitment to the party line on social issues from same-sex unions to gun control.
Baumgardner questioned his position in the race after news of his affiliation with a convicted sex offender came to light in recent weeks.
With the first win under his belt, Baumgardner said he’s going to regroup before getting to work campaigning for the general election in November.