Bennet, Buck Wins; Maes Edging Ahead
Primary Draws Record Number
Last Updated: 1040 days ago
It will be Democratic incumbent Michael Bennet versus Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck this November for Colorado's open U..S. Senate seat.Bennet beat his Democratic challenger, former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, Tuesday night. Bennet defied a trend that has dealt defeat to a half-dozen U.S. Senate and House incumbents in other states. In a year in which voters are reluctant to reward experience, he was quick to say he had little. "This election is the first time my name has ever been on a ballot," Bennet told supporters. (Read Full Bennet-Romanoff Story.)Buck defeated Lt. Gov. Jane Norton Tuesday night. They, too, sparred over ownership of the outsider's credentials. Both also have ties to tea party activists, although Buck expressed frustration at one point, asking aloud for someone to tell those "dumba---s" to stop asking him about Obama's birth certificate while he was being recorded. He later expressed regret for the remarks. (Read Full Buck-Norton Story.)Republicans need to win the Senate seat this fall if they are to challenge Democrats for control of the Senate.The race in the GOP's gubernatorial primary between Scott McInnis and Dan Maes is too close to call, although Maes declared himself the winner late Tuesday night. (Read Full Story. )Both the Maes and McInnis campaign suffered wounds that were self-inflicted. McInnis received $300,000 as part of a foundation fellowship for a water study report that was he admitted was plagiarized. Maes has paid $17,500 for violating campaign finance laws.The winner of the GOP race will run against Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, who was unopposed for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and third-party candidate Tom Tancredo.Tancredo said Tuesday night it doesnt matter who wins the GOP nod, hes already running and hes not bowing out. He said the time has come and gone for the Republican candidate to drop out and now he is focused on fund raising and moving forward.That's not good news for the GOP, according to political analysts."Because of where Tancredo is positioned, he will siphon off votes from the Republican nominee. No matter who that is, whether Maes wins and stays in the race or a committee is formed and they put up somebody else, no matter who that is, Tancredo will siphon off votes from the Republican party," said political analyst Kyle Saunders. "It makes Hickenlooper's job even easier and puts Hickenlooper in a situation where he can continue to portray a positive image, not necessarily go after the opposing candidates at all."Michael BennetAndrew RomanoffKen BuckJane NortonDan MaesScott McInnis
Primary Draws Record Numbers
This is Colorado's biggest experiment yet with mail-in voting and it has drawn a record number of primary voters. Republicans alone already surpassed the total number of ballots cast from both parties in the 2006 general election for governor."We've seen a turnout of about 30 percent which is unprecedented in off-year primary elections and alot of that is because we've had a competitive set of elections," said political analyst Kyle Saunders.Most Colorado counties are using all-mail balloting and as of midday Tuesday, 38 percent of Democrats had voted and nearly 42 percent of Republicans had turned in ballots, according to figures from the Secretary of State's Office. Both figures are much higher than usual for a primary race.Denver had a voter turnout of about 16 percent in the primaries of 2006 and 2008."It's pretty clear that voters are definitely paying attention to this election," said Richard Coolidge, spokesman for the secretary of state. This is the first year that Colorado has given counties the option to conduct an all-mail primary. Forty-six of Colorado's 64 counties chose the all-mail option. Voters have had their ballots for three weeks before the election, so it's unclear much influence brutal political attacks had in the senate races during the days before the election. More than 310,000 Democrats have already voted and almost 359,000 Republicans cast their ballots as of Tuesday afternoon. That's more than the 340,000 ballots cast from both parties when Bill Ritter was elected governor in 2006. In Denver County, which was one of the counties with mail-in voting, about 70,000 people had voted as of Monday night, which is a voter turnout of more than 30 percent, said Alton Dillard, spokesman for the Denver Elections Division. In Jefferson County, one of the largest counties in the state, more than 91,000 ballots had been cast by Tuesday afternoon, compared to more than 68,200 in 2008, said Josh Liss, deputy of elections for Jefferson County. "In terms of turnout? It blows them out of the water," Liss said about this year's primary compared to others.