Local veterinarian falls short in bid for Congress | VailDaily.com

Local veterinarian falls short in bid for Congress

Dr. Steve Sheldon was seven-tenths of a vote short of being in the Democratic primary for the Third Congressional District seat, to face incumbent Republican Scott Tipton. Former state senator Gail Schwartz won the Democratic nomination.
David Makogon |

LOVELAND — A local veterinarian fell seven-tenths of a vote short of forcing a primary showdown for U.S. Congress.

Eagle County veterinarian Dr. Steve Sheldon needed 110.7 votes from fellow Democrats for a spot in June’s primary. He got 110.

As a result, former State Senator Gail Schwartz is the Democratic nominee to face Republican incumbent Scott Tipton. She entered the race a week ago. Schwartz, who now lives in Crested Butte, won 259 delegates, enough to make the ballot without a primary showdown.

“I would do it again in a heartbeat,” Sheldon said. “The people I met, the things we talked about and what I learned about myself are irreplaceable. And we were just getting started. One sentiment people from both camps expressed to me again and again was that my voice, a heartfelt and sincere voice to stand up for people and not industries or corporations, is desperately needed. That was my goal, to represent the people and do good. That may sound cliche, but it was not. People can tell when you are full of it, and they knew I was there for all the right reasons.”

Because he was so close, Sheldon asked for a recount, but the results held.

“I have always felt things happen for a reason,” Sheldon said. “I’m not sure what that is here, but I’ll find it and turn it into a positive, you can be sure of that.”

Schwartz was gracious in victory.

“I am honored and grateful to have the support of my fellow Democrats for my campaign to represent the diverse third district,” Schwartz said. “Since we launched this campaign, we have received incredible support from across western and southern Colorado. We are going to run a strong campaign that will stand up to the partisan special interests and finally bring some Colorado common sense to Washington.”

Schwartz used to hold the Colorado Senate seat now occupied by Vail native Kerry Donovan. Term limits forced her to leave that post.

In 2000, Schwartz won a Third Congressional District race for the University of Colorado’s board of regents. The third district is somewhat different today, but it encompasses about two-thirds of Eagle County, as the Western Slope and part of the Arkansas Valley around Pueblo.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

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