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Contrary to expectations, the race for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District did not go down to the wire.
Incumbent Congressman Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, ended up coasting to a rather comfortable win in one of the state’s most hotly contested congressional races.
Tipton had garnered 54 percent of the vote to Democratic challenger Sal Pace’s 41 percent as of late Tuesday evening, with 73 percent of the precincts in the massive district reporting their results. The results were the opposite in Routt County, however, where Pace captured 51 percent of the vote to Tipton’s 44 percent.
“Our internal polling looked pretty positive going into the election, but this exceeded our expectations,” Tipton said Tuesday night. “I’m very grateful to my staff that traveled with me to debates and town hall meetings all over the district and to all of our volunteers that worked so hard throughout the campaign.”
“We’re very excited and very appreciative of the support we received in Craig, Moffat County and throughout the 3rd Congressional District,” Tipton told the Craig Daily Press. “Obviously we had a positive message focused on energy, the economy and putting people back to work.”
Tipton garnered a whopping 76 percent of the vote in neighboring Moffat County, where Pace received support from only 18 percent of voters.
Tipton already is looking forward to getting back to Washington, he said. Tops on his to-do list are addressing some of the obstacles presented by the remaining lame-duck session of the 112th Congress, fiscal sequestration and a number of issues facing the military.
“We need to get House Republican and Democrat leaders, Senate Republican and Democrat leaders and the president to sit down and get things done for the American people,” he said.
Chad Obermiller, Pace’s campaign manager, said Pace was with his family Tuesday night and was unavailable for comment.
But Obermiller issued this statement to the Craig Daily Press via text message:
"Earlier tonight Sal called Congressman Tipton to congratulate him on his victory. It was a hard fought election and Sal is proud to have run a positive campaign that focused on finding solutions, not scoring political points.
"Sal is so proud to have the support of his family, his friends and countless Coloradans who shared his vision for change."