Wide margin in Garfield wins race for Rippy | PostIndependent.com

Wide margin in Garfield wins race for Rippy

Incumbent state Rep. Gregg Rippy headed to Denver today to elect Republican leaders for the 2003 state Legislature, a day after winning his second term in office.

Rippy carried the vote in just two of the five counties he will represent in the reconfigured House District 61. But his margin in Garfield County over challengers Rick Davis and Abba Krieger outweighed his losses elsewhere.

“Being an incumbent certainly had its advantages, especially in my home area,” Rippy said Wednesday after the votes were tallied.

“For the last two years, people here have seen what I’ve been doing, how hard I’ve worked. That’s a harder message to get to 35,000 new people, who hardly watch their own legislator let alone one in the district next door,” he added.

“It was important that the people I had as carryovers were really with me in this race,” he added.

The new 61st District includes the eastern half of Garfield County, the Roaring Fork Valley portion of Eagle County, and all of Pitkin, Gunnison and Hinsdale counties. Rippy formerly represented the old 57th District, which included Garfield, Rio Blanco and Moffat counties.

Rippy is a Glenwood Springs Republican and the co-owner of Grand River Construction Co.

Davis, a Democrat, is mayor pro-tem of Glenwood Springs and a construction manager for D.M. Neuman Construction Co.

Krieger is a Carbondale chiropractor who ran with the Natural Law Party.

The final vote count from the five counties was 11,496 for Rippy, 9,676 for Davis and 967 for Krieger, a split of 52 percent for Rippy, 44 percent for Davis and 4 percent for Krieger.

Rippy carried Garfield and Hinsdale counties, while Davis prevailed in Eagle, Pitkin and Gunnison counties.

The county-by-county vote breakdown was:

Garfield County – 5,755 for Rippy, 3,166 for Davis, 434 for Krieger.

Eagle County – 776 for Rippy, 885 for Davis, 80 for Krieger.

Pitkin County – 2,274 for Rippy, 3,040 for Davis, 271 for Krieger.

Gunnison County – 2,385 for Rippy, 2,417 for Davis, 162 for Krieger.

Hinsdale County – 306 for Rippy, 168 for Davis, 20 for Krieger.

The strongest county win for Davis came in heavily Democratic Pitkin County.

“We knew when it was redistricted, it would be different,” Rippy said. “After all, four years ago, Bill Owens got 38 percent of the vote in Pitkin County.

“It’s not always about carrying a county, but staying close,” he added.

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