Voters re-elected Republican incumbent Marilyn Musgrave to the 4th Congressional District seat Tuesday.
Musgrave’s victory sounded the end of a bitter battle against Democratic contender Angie Paccione. Musgrave won with 46 percent of the vote, while Paccione and Colorado Reform Party candidate Eric Eidsness nabbed 43 and 11 percent, respectively.
Republicans will have held the 4th congressional seat for 36 years before 2008, when it will be open for election.
“This has been the worst year for Republicans since 1972. We’ve had a big climb,” Musgrave told reporters Wednesday. “We’re still standing.”
Musgrave kept her seat, while Democrats all across the country took over the House, offering some solace to the Republicans.
Musgrave, whose margin of defeat has waned with every election since she originally took the seat in 2002, says the next two years will be a trying time for Republicans.
“I think it will be a new day in a couple years as far as what the American people think about the Democrats’ agenda,” Musgrave said after her victory speech.
From her campaign headquarters on the corner of Myrtle and Mason streets, Paccione bid a tear-filled adieu to her campaign staff and supporters.
“I’m proud of the race that we ran. I’m proud of my staff,” she said. “We did what we set out to do. I feel really good about it.”
Derek Barisas, a 15-year-old Poudre High School sophomore, came to Marilyn’s celebration party to voice his support for Paccione, saying, “She’s taking it with a lot of grace.”
“If we could vote, we’d vote Paccione,” he said, pointing to three of his friends who are too young to cast a ballot. “It’s really disappointing, but she fought as best she could.”
Paccione touted such strong support from young people such as Barisas, saying, “I just love the fact that when you see young people get involved in politics, it’s great for them, but it’s also great for me.”
Paccione also thanked students and the CSU Young Democrats.
“I want to say thank you to all the students,” she said. “I’m glad to have had their support.”
Although she has not announced any intentions to run in two years, Paccione says her campaign has set a precedent.
“I think if I get in the race, I have a really good shot,” she said of running again.
And Paccione has not ruled out a return to CSU.
“I’ve been at CSU for 11 years, and I absolutely love it,” she said. “I do have an affection for the school.”
But for now, Paccione says it’s time for a vacation.
“It breaks my heart a little bit that I couldn’t deliver,” she said. “I’m a competitor, and you win some, you lose some.”
City editor J. David McSwane can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.