Debra Irvine seals victory in HD61 GOP primary |

Debra Irvine seals victory in HD61 GOP primary

Caddie Nath
Summit Daily News
Debra Irvine

Republicans in the new House District 61 backed Breckenridge Debra Irvine for state representative in the GOP primary Tuesday, giving her 53 percent of the vote to defeat Gunnison hopeful David Justice.

In the state Senate District 8 Republican primary, challenger Randy Baumgardner unseated incumbent Sen. Jean White in a decisive victory in every county in the district.

Irvine won Summit County by a wide margin, landing 70 percent of the vote. She is now jumping into a popular race, facing two third-party candidates and incumbent Democrat Millie Hamner, the former Summit School District superintendent, in the general election in November.

“Our campaign will continue to be respectful, factual and fiscally responsible,” Irvine said in a victory statement on her website. “We look forward to November because our platform of growing business, quality education and domestic energy will benefit our entire district.”

Justice conceded the race Wednesday and threw his support behind Irvine for the general election.

“I stand with her and encourage her in the battle she is about to fight,” Justice stated in an email to the Summit Daily News. “The Colorado General Assembly needs the voices and integrity of genuinely conservative representatives to secure fundamental principles.”

Baumgardner, who is regrouping after an ugly race he said was the “worst I’ve ever been through,” faces Breckenridge Democrat Emily Tracy for the SD8 seat.

Voters of both parties went to the polls Tuesday for the earliest primary election in Colorado history, but only the Republicans had contested races to decide.

In Summit County, voter turnout was low, less than half of what it was for the last primary election in 2010.

Only 1,269 people cast ballots in Summit County for the primary, the vast majority via mail-in ballot, compared to a total of 2,392 who voted in the 2010 primary.

Kevin Lundberg defeated Eric Weissmann in the Republican primary for the U.S. House District 2, while Brian Davidson, an anesthesiologist at the Anschutz Medical Campus won a solid victory over Matt Arnold in the GOP primary for an at-large University of Colorado Regent seat in the only statewide race.

Glenwood Springs Post Independent editor Heather McGregor and the Denver Post contributed to the reporting of this story.

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