DENVER – U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton survived a primary Tuesday, easily defeating a 27-year-old recent law school graduate.
With the primary out of the way, Tipton must now focus on defeating Democrat Gail Schwartz this November. She did not face a primary on Tuesday.
“Congressman Tipton appreciates the continued support of Republicans in the 3rd Congressional District,” said Tipton campaign spokesman Michael Fortney. “He looks forward to the general election and his race against the detached, anti-job, anti-energy, liberal elite Gail Schwartz.”
Schwartz, a former state senator from Gunnison County, did not return requests for comment left by The Durango Herald Tuesday night.
Tipton did not do much campaigning in the primary race. At 59 years old, the third-term congressman has powerful supporters across the sprawling district, which includes most of the Western Slope and southern portions of the Eastern Plains.
For the general election, Tipton says creating jobs and improving the economy, especially in rural America, will be his priorities.
Beinstein made the ballot at the April district assembly with an impressive 40 percent of the delegate vote. He worked to separate himself from Tipton on conservative and constitutional values.
One area where Beinstein focused was on international issues, specifically the United States’ somewhat friendly relationship with Saudi Arabia.
He also tried to distinguish himself by supporting a tariff to create jobs.
But Beinstein raised only $4,060 in contributions, relying heavily on support from friends and family.
The run was his first in politics, and he said he has grown from the experience.
“I have learned more than my entire time in school, and I most certainly hope to apply what I learned somehow – in politics, journalism, education or law,” Beinstein said.
His run, however, gave Schwartz a chance to organize. She has taken in $294,287 in individual contributions since announcing her candidacy on April 8.
Tipton reported $489,537 in individual contributions.
The district often swings between Republicans and Democrats, though it currently favors a Republican.
Republicans make up about 34 percent of the district, while Democrats comprise about 29 percent. Another 35 percent, however, represents swing unaffiliated voters.
In the 3rd Congressional District GOP race for the State Board of Education, incumbent Joyce Rankin had a healthy lead over Anita Stapleton, 56 percent to 44 percent, as of 9 p.m.