Mark Hurlbert bumped from ballot by Tim Leonard |

Mark Hurlbert bumped from ballot by Tim Leonard

Lynn Bartels/The Denver PostTim Leonard's supporters packed his state Senate assembly, where he won 71 percent of the delegate vote.

Summit County District Attorney Mark Hurlbert, who is running for the state Senate, fell short of making the primary ballot today and said he’s not sure whether he plans to petition on.

Hurlbert got 29 percent of the delegate vote while challenger Tim Leonard captured 71 percent. Candidates need 30 percent to make the ballot outright.

“I’m sorry Mark,” Sen. Al White, R-Hayden, who nominated Hurlbert, said afterward.

Hurlbert and Leonard participated in the state Senate District 16 assembly in Loveland. Their contest was one of the mostly closely watched legislative assemblies today.

Leonard has the backing of the legislature’s most conservative members, former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo and the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, which claims Hurlbert is anti-Second Amendment. Hurlbert’s supporters include Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry of Grand Junction. His supporters maintain Democrats can’t beat him in November.

Leonard walked to the front of the room with dozens of supporters carrying his campaign signs and wearing his campaign T-shirts. He introduced his wife, Monica, and their six children, including 11-year-old Andrew, his campaign manager, and 2-year-old Isabella, who stole the show with her “Go, Daddy, go!” sign she used to whack her 7-year-old sister, Mary Kate, in the head.

“I have a wonderful life and it’s because I have a wonderful wife,” Leonard said.

A former member of the American Constitution Party, Leonard talked about cutting the budget and the need to stop Colorado from being a nanny state.

Hurlbert told delegates he’s pro gun, pro Constitution and furthermore, he’s electable. He pointed out when he ran for re-election as district attorney he even carried Breckenridge because he was able to win the independents.

In his nomination speech, White noted that winning Summit County was key to winning the election. Hurlbert is a Summit County native; Leonard lives in Jefferson County.

“Whoever wins needs to be able to win in November,” White said. “He can help us win the majority. I need some help down there (at the Capitol) to do what’s right for Colorado.”

The seat currently is held by Democrat Dan Gibbs, who opted against running for re-election so he could run for Summit County commissioner.

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