Democrat incumbent Mitsch Bush defeats McConnell in state house race |

Democrat incumbent Mitsch Bush defeats McConnell in state house race

— Colorado House District 26 incumbent Diane Mitsch Bush defeated challenger Chuck McConnell by a healthy margin Tuesday night.

In Routt County, Democrat Mitsch Bush had 55.8 percent, or 5,466 votes, to Republican McConnell’s 41.4 percent, or 4,056 votes. In Eagle County, the only other county in District 26, Mitsch Bush had 7,832 votes to McConnell's 6,658 votes.

"I'm disappointed, obviously," McConnell said.

McConnell, a former chemical engineer, previously challenged Mitsch Bush when District 26 was first formed in 2012. Mitsch Bush won that election with support in both Routt and Eagle counties, winning with about 55 percent of the total vote.

Mitsch Bush was a college sociology professor before becoming a Routt County commissioner in 2007, a position she held until the 2012 House District 26 election.

Mitsch Bush said she believed voters resonated with her honesty and the fact that she relied on her record and didn't talk down to her opponent.

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"I've always been positive. I think people are looking for leaders that can bring people together," Mitsch Bush said. "I tell the truth."

Since first elected in 2012, Mitsch Bush has sponsored 13 bills, which all passed with bi-partisan support.

"It's really important for all of us to work together," she said.

McConnell said he had run on a platform of improving the economy and increasing jobs, and he hoped to give a voice to House District 26 and not just represent Republicans.

Compared to the 2012 race, McConnell said he'd earned more in campaign contributions and used them as wisely as he could.

"I honestly did everything I knew with the money that I had," McConnell said.

Libertarian candidate Thom Haupt had about 2.8 percent of the vote, or 252 votes, in Routt County, and 4.2 percent, or 529 votes in Eagle County, according to preliminary returns.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

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