Gardner helps GOP win Senate; Hickenlooper pulls ahead
Highlights from Tuesday’s election:
GOVERNOR: In the state’s closest race, Gov. John Hickenlooper pulled ahead overnight in his race for re-election against Republican Bob Beauprez. Beauprez led as votes were counted Tuesday evening, but votes from Boulder and Denver counties in particular that were not counted until near midnight and later put the Democratic incumbent ahead.
At 6 a.m. today, the Colorado secretary of state’s website showed Hickenlooper ahead 873,790 to 862,488 — about sixth-tenths of a percentage point. Not all votes were counted yet, but many of those not yet counted are from Democratic-leaning areas on the Front Range.
Beauprez led Hickenlooper by about 800 votes in Garfield County.
U.S. SENATE: U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner defeated Sen. Mark Udall, helping push Republicans to control of the Senate. Gardner won about 51 percent of the vote to Udall’s 44 percent. Gardner won Garfield County by about 1,500 votes.
NBC News projected that Joni Ernst won in Iowa, giving Republicans control of the Senate. Ernst is the first Iowa woman ever elected to Congress.
Mitch McConnell, who easily won re-election over a well-financed opponent in Kentucky, is set to become Senate majority leader.
COUNTY COMMISSIONER: Incumbent Tom Jankovsky won handily over Democrat Michael Sullivan.
CONGRESS: Republican Rep. Scott Tipton cruised to victory over Democrat Abel Tapia.
GMO LABELING: The initiative to require foods containing genetically engineered organisms to be labeled was trounced, with 68 percent of voters saying no to the idea. Food companies dramatically outspent supporters of the proposal, by about $11 million to $440,000. The vote on a similar measure in Oregon was much closer.
AMENDMENT 68: A proposed constitutional amendment to allow casino gambling at Arapahoe Park horse track in Aurora, with tax money going to public schools, was losing badly, with 72 percent against.
PERSONHOOD: Also losing by a wide margin in early returns was a proposed constitutional amendment to include unborn human beings under the definition of “person” and “child” in the Colorado criminal code. Sixty-four percent of votes were against that proposal.
STATEWIDE OFFICES: Republicans won races for attorney general (Cynthia Coffman), secretary of state (Wayne Williams) and treasurer (Walker Stapleton).
SILT WATER DISTRICT: Silt Water Conservancy District voters “de-Bruced” the district, freeing it from budget restrictions and enabling its leaders to obtain grants to make needed repairs to the Rifle Gap and Harvey Gap reservoirs/
RIFLE POT TAX: Rifle voters approved a 5 percent excise tax on growing operations in town.
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Former Carbondale trustee Katrina Byars said she wants to bring a voice of environmental sustainability to the commission, and believes her opponent has served long enough.