Steamboat's McConnell to advance to GOP primary

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Bob McConnell

— Steamboat Springs resident Bob McConnell received 45 percent of delegate votes Friday at the 3rd Congressional District Assembly, enough to place him in a primary election in August. McConnell is running for the Republican nomination to face incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. John Salazar in November.

According to a release from McConnell’s office, he received 280 of 616 delegate votes at the assembly in Loveland. Colorado law dictates that a delegate must receive at least 30 percent of the vote to enter a primary. McConnell will face state Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, in the Aug. 10 Republican primary. The winner will face Salazar.

"I am thrilled, and so grateful to the hundreds and hundreds of people who made this possible," McConnell said in the news release. "We had no party machine, just boots on the ground. Look at what we built and did in eight months and coming from out of nowhere. Just imagine how much bigger and stronger we will get this summer."

The self-proclaimed “Cowboy Colonel,” a former U.S. Army Airborne Ranger, has spent several months driving across the 29 counties in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, hoping to capitalize on a tea party movement made up of residents who share his anger with the federal government.

McConnell, 63, held an open house in Steamboat in April, where he said the government needed to dramatically reduce its spending. He said that could mean abolishing the federal Department of Education, moving poverty programs “back to neighborhoods” to reduce dependency on federal programs, and reorganizing the federal Department of Defense to cut its spending.

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