Baumgardner, White to face off in GOP primary |

Baumgardner, White to face off in GOP primary

Heather McGregor
Post Independent Editor
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

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.

The assembly, being held on the campus of the University of Denver, continues today.

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 office.

– Summit Daily News reporter Caddie Nath and Sky-Hi Daily News reporter Tonya Bina contributed to this report.

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