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November 7, 2012
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Democrat Millie Hamner wins 5-way race for HD61

Democrat Millie Hamner of Dillon won the state House District 61 seat by a landslide Tuesday night, defeating four challengers with 47 percent of the vote, early results indicated.

"I will continue to work hard for all of my constituents in Delta, Gunnison, Pitkin, Lake and Summit," Hamner stated Tuesday night. "We have important issues to address in order to preserve our quality of life and the reasons why we live on the Western Slope."

Republican challenger Debra Irvine, who billed herself as the small business candidate, took second place in the race for HD61, winning 34 percent of the vote, based on early results reported as of midnight Wednesday.

She conceded the election late Tuesday.

"I wish Representative Hamner well," Irvine stated. "I remain concerned for small businesses and our mining industry, not to mention increased taxes and fees to come our way. We are respected for our clean grassroots campaign and I am grateful to all the supporters we have."

There were five hats in the ring for the hotly-contested House District 61 seat, the rights to which Democrat Roger Wilson conceded to Hamner following last year's redistricting process, which drew her out of District 56, the territory she represented for the last two years.

Hamner inherited the HD56 seat from Democrat Christine Scanlan, who beat Irvine in the 2010 election, but was later tapped for a job in the newly elected Gov. John Hickenlooper's administration.

But this year hopefuls representing the Libertarian, American Constitution and independent tickets also tossed hats in the ring for the seat.

Independent Kathleen Curry made a reasonably strong showing at the polls, landing 13 percent of the vote, based on early results available as of 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Curry is a two-time veteran of the state House of Representatives, who left the Democratic Party to become an independent halfway through her last term, costing her the seat. With a degree in agricultural and resource economics, Curry billed herself the water rights candidate during a campaign that landed her at the heart of a negative campaign attacking her record on health care and lawmaker benefits.

She could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.

American Constitution Party candidate Robert Petrowsky landed approximately 2 percent of the vote, while Libertarian hopeful Ellen Temby secured approximately 3 percent, based on early reports.

"I think the fact that we had so many candidates in our race is very exciting," Temby said. "My position is about opening everyone's eyes to the fact that there aren't just two choices out there."

Temby called Hamner an "excellent" representative and complimented her on running a clean campaign.

Temby, a mother, business owner and resident of Blue River, jumped into the race in March at the request of her party, but was one of the quieter candidates of the five through the election season. She consistently advocated for the minimization of government.

Leadville American Constitution Party candidate Petrowsky is a 911 dispatcher in Vail, whose platform was also based on limiting government.

He could not be immediately reached for comment.

Hamner will take office in the state House of Representatives in January and will serve a two-year term.


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The Summit Daily Updated Nov 7, 2012 03:40PM Published Nov 7, 2012 04:25AM Copyright 2012 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.