Tipton unseats Salazar

Scott Tipton holds Matthew Pederson, 10, of Grand Junction in his arms Tuesday night at Naggy McGee’s Irish Pub in Grand Junction. Matthew told Tipton that he and his father had voted for him, but Matthew’s dad clarified that the boy had just accompanied him to the polls.

Scott Tipton was exuberant Tuesday night about his bid for Congress, buoyed by the early, unofficial results that showed he had garnered 60 percent of the vote in Mesa County and 40 percent in Pueblo County.

Final results remained to be tallied, and incumbent U.S. Rep. John Salazar’s camp offered no immediate comment except to say he was awaiting the final count.

The Associated Press, however, called the race for Tipton early this morning. The Denver Post said the race was 49.2 percent to 46.7 percent in favor of Tipton as of 12:30 a.m., with 96 percent of precincts reporting results.

Tipton, a Republican businessman and state legislator from Cortez, was running for a second time to unseat Salazar.

An upbeat Tipton attended an election-night party with supporters at Naggy McGee’s Irish Pub, 359 Colorado Ave., as television networks said Republicans had taken control of the U.S. House.

Salazar was awaiting election results in Pueblo after flying around the 3rd Congressional District for various get-out-the-vote events.

In Mesa County, the second largest county in the district, Tipton garnered 32,369 votes to Salazar’s 16,953. Libertarian Gregory Gilman got 1,569 votes, and unaffiliated candidate Jake Segrest had 1,612.

The tea party contributed heavily to voter enthusiasm this year, making voters more aware of the issues of spending and debt, Tipton said.

“This goes well beyond any candidate,” Tipton said.

“Tea partiers and 9-12ers all contributed to the debate,” he said.

Some voters, however, concluded without prompting from political activists that they needed change, Tipton said, recalling one voter who said he was supporting Tipton “for his 6-year-old daughter.”

When Congress resumes in a lame-duck session, Tipton said it should act to extend the Bush tax cuts, something Salazar has endorsed for at least one more year and which Tipton has supported.

“Beyond that, I hope they go home,” Tipton said.


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