UPDATE: Dylan Roberts wins Senate District 8 seat, Matt Solomon concedes the race
9:30 a.m. UPDATE: After a long campaign that saw six debates and a seemingly endless stream of mailers, Democrat Dylan Roberts claimed victory Wednesday morning over Republican Matt Solomon in the race for the Colorado State Senate District 8 seat.
Roberts leads Matt Solomon by nearly 8,416 votes as of 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. Roberts had 39,749 votes to Solomon’s 31,333 votes in the race. Results remain unofficial until the election is certified at a later date.
The Roberts campaign said Solomon had conceded the race Wednesday morning.
“Now, the real work begins,” Roberts said in a statement. “I am thrilled to get to work on drafting legislation that reflects the voters’ priorities that I heard on the campaign trail and work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to continue finding solutions that will make the region more affordable, protect our water and environment, and make our rural and mountain towns even better places to live, work, and thrive. Thank you to the voters for their support and confidence.”
Roberts, at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday night, said he wanted to wait until every vote was counted before celebrating a victory, but said he was pleased with the results he saw.
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“It was a long, campaign, many miles on the road and meeting lots of people,” Roberts said.
Senate District 8 is currently represented by Bob Rankin, a Republican from Carbondale, but the newly redrawn Colorado Senate District Map puts Rankin’s hometown of Carbondale in Senate District 5. Eagle County, where Roberts lives, and Routt County, where he grew up, will both be in Senate District 8 when the new map takes effect following Tuesday’s election. Rankin will move to Senate District 5.
Roberts has served two terms in the state legislature as the representative for House District 26, but the race marks his first general election campaign in four years as he went unchallenged in 2020.
Roberts said in getting to know the voters of Senate District 8, he will look at his time in the state Senate, if the results hold in his favor, as a fresh start.
“Senate District 8 is very different from House District 26,” Roberts said on Tuesday. “So if I do end up serving in the Senate, I’ll have the legislative experience, but I’ll have to end up focusing on different issues and a broader portfolio of ideas.”
Solomon, a former member of the Eagle Town Council, was seeking his first term as an elected official in the state legislature.
Roberts was appointed to the state house in 2017 when Diane Mitch-Busch vacated her seat to focus on her campaign for Congress.
Roberts was then challenged for the seat in 2018 by Republican Nicki Mills, who he defeated handily. He went unchallenged in 2020.
In 2022, following a redrawing of the state Senate district lines to include Avon in Senate District 8, the 33-year-old announced an intention to run in that district, as he lives in Avon.
Roberts said he was suited particularly well to understand the needs of the new district as he was born in the former Senate District 8, in Steamboat Springs, and now lives in the newly incorporated part of the district in Avon.
“The Senate is different than the House, there are smaller margins and it will force more bipartisanship,” Roberts said.