In a battle of political newcomers, Jeff Fry beat Mark Marchus in the Republican primary election for a county commissioner seat representing West Routt County.
Fry earned 888 votes compared with Marchus' 486.
Fry will face incumbent and Democrat Doug Monger in the general election in November.
Fry said he wanted to thank Routt County voters for their support, but said the race is not won yet.
"There's still a lot of work to do," Fry said.
Both Fry and Marchus said before the primary elections that they would try to bring a fresh perspective to the county. Marchus said that despite his loss, he would support Fry in his efforts to take the District 2 county commissioner seat.
"Jeff's a good man," Marchus said. "I would love to have won the primary and gone on to beat Monger in the general election ... but it doesn't look as though God has that in store for me."
Fry's priorities include keeping costs of the new justice center down, taking care of county roads despite the tight budget, and working on plans for open lands.
Fry grew up in Steamboat Springs, graduated from Steamboat Springs High School in 1976, and later moved with his wife to a ranch north of Hayden, where they now have a small cattle ranch and raise their three children. Fry has worked in construction all of his life and owns excavation company, Bears Ears Excavating Inc.
Fry plans to campaign hard in the coming months before the general election in November. People who don't know him well yet should by then, he said.
"Hopefully by November, they'll have that sense that I can really help the county," Fry said.
The toughest challenge in facing Monger, Fry said, is that he's "a good Democrat."
Marchus, who was terminated from his position as Routt County chief building official in February and is involved in a lawsuit over the termination with the county, said he thought those issues may have played out at some level in the election.
During his campaign, he said he received a lot of positive support, especially from people involved with construction, but "unfortunately, the construction industry isn't the entire county," he said.
Fry said he wanted to thank Marchus for running a good campaign.
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