Mitsch Bush wins in 3rd District Democrat primary
U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, the Republican incumbent representing Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, knows which Democrat he will face off against in the mid-term general election Nov. 6 – former state Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush of Steamboat Springs.
As the final results were coming in Tuesday night, Mitsch Bush had a comfortable lead with 64.2 percent of the vote to 28 percent for Glenwood Springs attorney Karl Hanlon and 8 percent for former Eagle County Commissioner Arn Menconi.
All three Democratic campaigns eagerly awaited the returns once the clock struck 7 p.m. and the primary ballot boxes officially closed Tuesday evening.
Mitsch Bush and her supporters welcomed the results in from the Democratic headquarters in Pueblo.
“A heart felt deep thank you,” she said of the win. “It’s just been so wonderful to see the outpouring of support. How people believe in this campaign. People are working so hard. People have taken time away from families, from their leisure time, from work to really get out and call and knock and work on the campaign,” Bush said.
“People from all over the district, from all walks of life … votes from ranchers, coal miners, nurses, artists, teachers, heavy equipment operators and just everybody you could think of…People from really all walks of life,” Mitsch Bush added.
Hanlon stood alongside supporters at the Strater Hotel in Durango, and Menconi watched with family and friends at his home near Carbondale.
“It’s been six months; we’ve built an incredible network of volunteers,” Hanlon said. “We have supporters in all 29 counties of the district. Those supporters, that support of those folks has been humbling and it’s really, honestly, it’s been one of the greatest joys of my life to work together…”
With a district comprised of 29 counties from Moffat to Pueblo, turnout, particularly that of unaffiliated voters, was on everyone’s mind. The looming question: how would the newly enacted Proposition 108, which, for the first time in Colorado history, allows unaffiliated voters a voice in the primaries, affect the results?
Mesa and Rio Blanco, two of the first counties reporting results, showed voters substantially favoring Bush and which ultimately set the tone for the rest of the night.
Not long after, Mitsch Bush was declared the Democratic Primary winner.
A social activist, Menconi said of his grassroots campaign, “Your voices are being heard. I have tried to represent the voices that are not heard of the poor and minorities and your voices are being heard. As difficult a time we are in right now and I appreciate all the hard work that you do in every aspect of your life with your families and your communities.”
Mitsch Bush will now campaign to unseat Tipton, the four-term Republican from Cortez who was unopposed in the GOP primary Tuesday. Tipton has held the seat since 2011 and defeated his 2016 Democratic challenger, former state Sen. Gail Schwartz by nearly 50,000 votes.