Polis Set to Succeed Udall as Lamborn Survives

Posted August 13, 2008 at 8:44am

For wealthy Internet entrepreneur Jared Polis, $5 million was money well spent, as he held off former state Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald in Colorado’s 2nd district Democratic primary Tuesday night, 42 percent to 38 percent. Environmental activist Will Shafroth had garnered 20 percent of the vote with nearly all precincts reporting as of Wednesday morning. Also in Tuesday’s balloting, freshman Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) held off two primary challengers, winning 45 percent of the vote. Fitz-Gerald was the favorite of the Democratic establishment, both at home and in Washington, D.C. She had the support of most labor unions and of EMILY’s List, the heavyweight group that supports Democratic pro-abortion rights candidates. But Polis, who is openly gay, spent over $5 million in personal money and won the vote that counts. “This election cycle, a lot of barriers are being broken,” Polis said, according to the Denver Post. “At the Congressional level, we are showing that people are willing to elect a candidate based on their values and ideas and not their sexual orientation.” The Boulder-area 2nd district is solid Democratic territory, and Polis should cruise to victory in November. Rep. Mark Udall (D), who holds the seat, is running for Senate. In the 5th, Lamborn held off former Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce executive Jeff Crank, who garnered 29 percent, and retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Bentley Rayburn, who pulled 25 percent. Both had run against Lamborn in the 2006 GOP primary when it was an open seat. The Colorado Springs-area 5th district is heavily Republican, and Lamborn should easily advance to a second term in November. In the suburban Denver 6th district, where Rep. Tom Tancredo (R) is retiring, Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman beat newcomer Wil Armstrong in the Republican primary despite the fact that Armstrong had been endorsed by such GOP notables as Sen. Wayne Allard (Colo.) and Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who won Colorado’s Republican presidential caucuses earlier this year. The 6th district is majority Republican, and Coffman is expected to face only nominal opposition on Nov. 4.