GOP picks up 1 Colorado House seat |

GOP picks up 1 Colorado House seat

DENVER, Colorado – Republicans picked off a Democratic House incumbent in northern Colorado Tuesday, while Democrats held onto at least once seat strongly contested by the GOP.

Democratic Rep. Betsy Markey was defeated by Republican state Rep. Cory Gardner in a sprawling district that includes much of northern and eastern Colorado. With 50 percent of the projected vote counted, Gardner led Markey 52-43 percent.

Markey, a freshman, was considered among the most vulnerable House Democrats. The 4th District has more Republicans than Democrats, and the GOP had held the seat for more than three decades when Markey won in 2008.

Gardner credited voter unease with government spending for his win.

“We’ve got to get a handle on what’s going on in Washington, D.C. – the spending and the deficit,” Gardner said.

News was better for Democrats in the suburban 7th District, where Rep. Ed Perlmutter defeated Republican Ryan Frazier. With 68 percent of the projected vote counted, Perlmutter led Frazier 52-44 percent.

After declaring victory, Perlmutter turned a cartwheel before a rowdy crowd of Democrats. During the campaign, Republicans used video of Perlmutter turning cartwheels in negative ads. Perlmutter acknowledged that he was nervous he’d lose as outside groups poured money into advertising against him.

“This has been a tough, grueling campaign. But I gotta tell you, even though I was nervous I never doubted our success because I knew I had all of you,” Perlmutter told supporters.

Four other incumbents cruised to easy victories: Democrats Diana DeGette and Jared Polis, and Republicans Mike Coffman and Doug Lamborn.

Coffman, who is going to Washington for a second term from a suburban Denver district, said Republican gains in Colorado mirrored GOP gains nationwide.

“This election was a referendum of whether the Congress should continue down this reckless path of out-of-control spending or whether this nation should return to fiscal discipline,” Coffman said.

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