“I’m good,” he said. “Early results look good.”
At press time, Rippy was leading by 900 votes. His reconfigured 61st District includes all or parts of five counties: Garfield, Eagle, Pikin, Gunnison and Hinsdale.
By 10:30 p.m., results from 10 precincts in Garfield County put Rippy ahead of Democratic challenger Rick Davis, a Glenwood Springs city councilman, 4,068-2,312 votes.
In Pitkin County, the final tally favored Davis, 3,040-2,274.
In Gunnison County, where an estimated 1,300 early and absentee votes were still waiting to be counted, Davis led Rippy 1,848-1,766.
Adding the three polling results together, Rippy led Davis 8,108-7,200.
Still, Rippy wasn’t anxious about how long it was taking to get final results.
“Yes, it’s slow,” he said, “but I expected it. You know, two years ago we didn’t get results until Wednesday. Mildred and her people counted votes until 4 a.m. and she sent them home, and they came back in the morning and finished the count. It doesn’t surprise me.”
Rippy said he’s glad that the campaign is over.
“I’m very glad. And I’m especially glad for Marilee. This campaign was tough on her.”
Davis said he was pleased with the campaign, regardless of the outcome.
“Win or lose, I sit here tonight already a winner,” he said.
“When we started this campaign six months ago, our goal was to bring up issues and raise a debate. In the last month, Gregg has been running ads on water and education. So whoever is going to Denver is going to be accountable for the issues, they’ll stand for this, they’ll fight for this,” Davis said.
Top issues in the race were water, education, children’s issues, affordable housing, health care and public transportation.
Davis drew some criticism close to the end of the campaign for allegedly biased advertising.
“I talked about specific issues and votes. There’s bills he didn’t vote for that he should have. We can only go by the record. I never misconstrued a single vote,” Davis said.
“Also, there were things sent out by committees that I never saw or heard,” he said.
He referred to a negative campaign mailer that was sent out last week.
“I called the Democratic Party and complained about that. There’s no reason, subliminally or not, to do anything negative,” Davis said.
Early voting results put Natural Law Party candidate Abba Krieger in third place with 311 votes in Garfield County and 144 in Gunnison County.
“I’m pleased,” he said. “If I get a few hundred votes, that means there’s a few hundred people who want change to take place within current mainstream politics. I feel this is a process of educating people that there’s an alternative to the two parties.”
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