Musgrave facing tough re-election challenge |

Musgrave facing tough re-election challenge

FORT COLLINS ” Incumbent GOP Rep. Marilyn Musgrave is facing off for the first time in a debate with tough Democratic challenger Betsy Markey.

The debate Thursday is the first of three in a congressional district race that could cost Republicans another House seat.

Musgrave is a conservative firebrand best known for her vocal support of a federal ban on gay marriage. She easily won her first term in 2002, then had a close call two years later. She was in another close race in 2006 before beating Democrat Angie Paccione to win a third term representing Colorado’s sprawling eastern plains.

The close race this year has Republicans worried about losing another House seat.

Polls show Markey has a shot at defeating Musgrave.

The race has already turned sour, with both candidates accusing the other of enriching their personal bank accounts in Washington.

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