UPDATE: Rankin takes lead in tight race with Hanlon for Colorado Senate District 8 seat
10 a.m. Nov. 4: Republican incumbent Bob Rankin has a razor-thin lead over Democratic challenger Karl Hanlon in the race for the Colorado Senate District 8 seat, which could end up in a recount.
Vote tallies reported by seven counties in Senate District 8 to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office now give Rankin 50.1% of the vote to Hanlon’s 49.9%, with 228 votes separating the two.
State law requires an automatic recount if the margin is within 0.5%. The margin between Rankin and Hanlon stands at 1.28%
9 a.m. Nov. 4: Republican incumbent Bob Rankin held a razor-thin lead over Democratic challenger Karl Hanlon in the race for the Colorado Senate District 8 seat early Wednesday morning.
Vote tallies reported by counties to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, as of 12:48 a.m. gave Rankin just over 50.1% of the vote to Hanlson’s 49.9%, with just 77 votes separating the two.
Hanlon had taken an early lead based on early returns, but the race narrowed as returns came in from the more-conservative parts of the seven-county senate district.
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Democratic challenger Karl Hanlon of Carbondale holds a razor-thin lead over Republican incumbent Bob Rankin in balloting for the Colorado Senate District 8 seat.
Vote tallies reported by counties to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office as of 10:35 p.m. Tuesday gave Hanlon 50.5% of the vote to Rankin’s 49.5%, with about 800 votes separating the two. In Summit County, Hanlon held a more substantial lead of 65.1%.
Hanlon had taken an early 9 percentage point lead across the state based on early returns, but the race quickly narrowed.
“This is a district that is really focused on the issues and is trying to find a way to the candidate who can represent them on the issues that are really important to people,” Hanlon said as he waited for the final tallies to come in.
“It is an amazing thing to see people recognize how important their engagement is with this democracy,” Hanlon said about what was looking to be a record voter turnout in Colorado. “That’s what it’s all about.”
Senate District 8 includes Garfield, Moffat, Rio Blanco, Routt, Grand, Jackson and Summit counties.
With returns still being reported, Hanlon was winning in Routt and Summit counties, while Rankin had the edge in Garfield, Grand, Rio Blanco, Moffat and Jackson counties.
Rankin, who has served nine years in the state House of Representatives, is a small-business owner and military veteran from the Carbondale area. He is seeking election to the Senate District 8 seat, to which he was appointed in January 2019, replacing former Sen. Randy Baumgardner who retired after sexual harassment allegations.
Rankin currently serves on the state’s Joint Budget Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee. He has also served as a board member for the Colorado Tourism Office and the State Internet Portal Authority, and currently sits as the co-chair for the Education Leadership Council.
Rankin said his legislative record over the past two years speaks to the work he’s been doing to support his Western Slope constituents.
He pointed to the passage of the reinsurance program he sponsored in 2019, which is expected to save the average Western Slope resident 38% on individual health insurance in 2021, according to the Colorado Division of Insurance. Rankin also sponsored the READ act, a bipartisan bill that passed both the Senate and House unanimously, and is meant to help improve literacy among the state’s young students.
Rankin defeated Debra Irvine of Breckenridge in the June primary.
Hanlon grew up on his family’s ranch in Jackson County right on the border with Wyoming, where he went to school as a child. He graduated from the University of Wyoming, and went on to spend four years with the Colorado Division of Parks as a ranger in the State Forest State Park.
He is a municipal and special district government and water attorney, who currently serves as the contract city attorney for Glenwood Springs and Silverthorne. Hanlon also sits on the Colorado Basin Roundtable as one of 35 members charged with water planning for the main-stem of the Colorado River Basin in the state.
He and his wife, Sheryl Barto, run the Smiling Goat Ranch, which provides equine therapy services for autistic children and veterans with PTSD.
Hanlon ran for the 3rd Congressional District seat in 2018, losing in the primary to Diane Mitsch Bush. He won this year’s primary for the state senate seat over Democrat Arn Menconi of Eagle.
Hanlon said his desire to get into politics stems from a value of public service instilled in him from an early age, and a thirst for better representation to support rural Colorado in the state legislature.
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