Summit County’s Millie Hamner defeates Debra Irvine for House 61 seat |

Summit County’s Millie Hamner defeates Debra Irvine for House 61 seat

State Rep. Millie Hamner, D-Summit County

State Rep. Millie Hamner, D-Summit County, has defeated Republican challenger Debra Irvine, R-Breckenridge, in the race for the District 61 seat of the Colorado House. Hamner won 52 percent of the vote, while Irvine locked down 43 percent.

A third candidate, Mac Trench, who is affiliated with the Libertarian Party, took 4.4 percent of the vote.

Hamner and Irvine both were unopposed in their party primaries. Hamner ran on her record, having first won the seat in November 2012. A former school superintendent, she has touted her knowledge of state and local education issues and support for efforts to bring more financial stability to beleaguered school systems.

In debates and forums throughout election season, Irvine has taken a pro-business, anti-regulation stance and attempted to paint Hamner as a tax-and-spend liberal.

She also has railed against Hamner’s votes in favor of gun-control measures.

Hamner has responded that “gun safety,” not gun control, has been necessary. The Colorado General Assembly enacted several measures involving firearms last year in the wake of the Aurora theater shooting and the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting.

“I can stand on my record and four years of successful legislation,” she said. “My opponent didn’t have that. I have a lot to be proud of.”

Hamner also spoke of how she has taken a bipartisan approach to her dealings with fellow legislators.

“I know how to work well with other people,” she said. “I think that’s what people want and expect from their representatives. They want somebody who doesn’t polarize issues and who can try to find compromise and bring solutions together. That’s my strength.”

Prior to winning the District 61 seat in late 2012, Hamner was appointed to the House District 56 seat by the state Democratic Central Committee when incumbent Christine Scanlan resigned from the seat to join Gov. John Hickenlooper’s new administration.

Irvine unsuccessfully ran for the House District 56 seat in 2010, losing to Scanlan.

The residences of both Hamner and Irvine were redrawn into District 61 during the December 2011 redistricting process in the state legislature. Today, the district takes in eastern Delta County, the northern half of Gunnison County and all of Pitkin, Summit and Lake counties.

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