A race that was separated by a mere 900 votes when Jack Taylor went to bed at 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, ended in a slightly more decisive victory for Taylor over Democratic candidate Paul Ohri later in the day. Taylor will be going back to Denver as a state senator, riding a 1,141-vote victory.
Taylor replaces another Republican, Dave Wattenberg of Walden, in the state Senate. Wattenberg was forced to leave office because of term limits.
Unofficially, Taylor finished with 26,821 votes to 25,680 for Ohri. Ohri actually won Routt County, Taylor's home, by a slim margin. He took in 46.7 percent of the vote to 46 percent for Taylor, which amounted to about 70 votes.
Ohri was able to put up a strong fight in a number of counties with a majority of registered Republicans, but lost Eagle County, which, with more than 21,000 registered voters, was seen as a swing county in the election.
A third Senate District 8 candidate, Libertarian candidate Michael Zuckerman, ran a quiet campaign, taking no money and doing little actual campaigning beyond attending forums and speaking to the media. Zuckerman received less than 5 percent of the vote in most counties, including 3 percent in Routt County.
Taylor ran on a platform of cutting taxes, continuing to support tourism in the area and education reforms. Attempts to reach Taylor for comment Wednesday were unsuccessful.
Ohri, a longtime Kremmling Realtor, identified growth, housing, education and water as the big issues for District 8. He served as Grand County Commissioner from 1987 to 1999, being named Colorado's "Commissioner of the Year" in 1993. He is also the president of the Board of Directors of the Colorado River Water Conservation District.
Ohri was upset about the outcome of the race, but proud of the people who worked with him during the campaign, including a number of his family members.
"We all worked hard and tried to run a campaign about the issues people said were important to them," he said.
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