GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado - Randy Baumgardner swept at least six of seven counties in his bid against Jean White for the Republican nomination in the new state Senate District 8.
The unofficial tally as of press time was 5,498 for Baumgardner to 4,015 for White, a 58-42 percent split of votes in the statewide primary election.
In Garfield County, Baumgardner tallied 1,940 votes to White's 1,261, a 61-39 percent split.
"I think maybe people in northwest Colorado prefer the conservative view over the more moderate," Baumgardner said Tuesday evening, after receiving a phone call from White conceding the race.
Baumgardner is a Hot Sulphur Springs rancher who has been the state representative for House District 57. The reapportionment process of 2011 put him in a new District 13, pairing Jackson, Grand and Gilpin counties with Boulder County.
Rather than try to run for that seat, he challenged White, the incumbent in Senate District 8. White was filling out the term for her husband, Al White, after Gov. John Hickenlooper appointed him to run the state's tourism agency.
The new Senate District 8 includes seven whole counties: Garfield, Rio Blanco, Moffat, Routt, Jackson, Grand and Summit.
Campaigning in the primary race took a nasty turn in the last weeks before the election, with outside political committees sending attack-style mailings and phone calls to registered Republicans. Both candidates were on the receiving end of the negative campaigning.
"It was the worst I had ever been through," Baumgardner said.
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."
"I want to thank everybody who stayed with me through all the bad times, the bad mail and phone calls," Baumgardner said. "It is refreshing to know that people cannot necessarily be swayed by bad mudslinging."
He will face Breckenridge Democrat Emily Tracy in the November general election.
"I'm going to take a couple days to catch my breath, and then we will get out and start campaigning for the general," he said Tuesday.
In a statewide race, Republicans Matt Arnold of Denver and Brian Davidson of Arvada were seeking the party's nomination to run for the at-large seat on the University of Colorado Board of Regents.
Colorado GOP voters nominated Davidson to represent the party in the general election, according to the Associated Press.
In Garfield County, GOP voters favored Davidson with 1,324 votes to 1,044 cast for Arnold, a split of 56-44 percent for Davidson. Another 899 GOP voters did not cast a vote in this race.
Garfield County political party members also cast votes for other candidates even if they faced no opposition. But with no primary races, the turnout among Democrats was thin. Of the 4,737 primary ballots cast, more than twice as many votes came from Republicans as from Democrats. Alberico reported 3,269 Republican ballots, 1,444 Democrat ballots, 17 Libertarian ballots and seven ballots for the American Constitution Party.
- Summit Daily News reporter Caddie Nath contributed to this report.