Former state Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush pulled out a victory on primary night to capture the Democratic Party's nomination for Congressional District 3 and the right to run against the incumbent, U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, a Republican.
Mitsch Bush won about 65 percent of the vote over Glenwood Springs attorney Karl Hanlon and Carbondale resident Arn Menconi, who ran an unsuccessful bid for U.S. Senate in 2016 as a member of the Green Party.
The early vote total was more than 6,100 for Mitsch Bush, compared with Hanlon's more than 2,600 and Menconi's 617.
Mitsch Bush said she made the rural economy and the region's environment top issues during her campaign, and will continue to do so through to the November election.
"We're talking how we can bring our country back and how we need a representative who will work for an economy who will work for everyone," she said. "Our current representative doesn't listen to us, and he is often absent. I'm known for having town halls, and I plan on being there listening. That's what a representative does."
The 68-year-old Steamboat Springs resident opted to run for the nomination rather than seek a fourth term in the Colorado House, where she was first elected in 2012. Prior to that, Mitsch Bush served three terms as a Routt County commissioner.
Originally from Minnesota, she has bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees in sociology and social policy from the University of Minnesota.
"What we need to do is get our Republican friends and unaffiliated to vote for us," Mitsch Bush said. "I've had good luck with that in the past in my five other elections."
Tipton didn't face a GOP primary challenger, but he still received just about as many votes as all three Democrats in that party's primary race.
"Even though we were unopposed in the primary, every vote cast shows just how much the 3rd District wants to keep our success in Washington moving forward," Tipton wrote in a email.