State Rep. Corey Gardner, R-Yuma, reclaimed the U.S. House of Representatives seat for Republicans, knocking Democratic incumbent Betsy Markey from her 2-year reign of Coloradoâ€™s 4th Congressional District.
Gardnerâ€™s decisive win falls in line with the national trend of Republicans taking control the U.S. House from Democratic hands. Nationally, Democrats lost 58 House seats â€“â€“ leaving the breakdown with Republicans controlling 234 of the 435 seats with 21 undecided at the time of print.
Gardner, who had 53.5 percent of the district votes with 86 percent reported at the time of print, told the Collegian â€œweâ€™ve got a lot of work to do,â€ and he intends to establish a soundboard of students to â€œfind out what we can do for them while theyâ€™re in college.â€
Gardner, who graduated from CSU in 1997, grew up in rural Yuma and was elected to represent Coloradoâ€™s 63rd District, later becoming the minority whip.
During his victory speech, given at about 9:20 p.m. at the Embassy Suites in Loveland, Gardner assured Larimer County Republican watch-partiers he would be â€œthe hardest working congressman youâ€™ve ever seen.â€
His speech reflected his campaign, promising to work toward a balanced budget and a decrease in government spending while still remaining accountable to the communities of Northern Colorado. Agriculture, he says, still remains one of the nationâ€™s top economic drivers.
Though his campaign against Markey was fierce, he thanked her for her service to the district and its people.
While the crowd chanted â€œCory, Cory, Cory,â€ he ended his speech with â€œAmerica, weâ€™re back.â€
At the Larimer County Democratâ€™s watch party at the Fort Collins Marriott, a teary-eyed Markey gave her concession address, saying she just called Gardner to wish him the best and offer her help if he ever needed it.
â€œI know he has Coloradoâ€™s best interest at heart,â€ said Markey, who had 40.4 percent of the votes. â€œThe sun will come up tomorrow and weâ€™ll all go back to work.â€
Markey took the CD-4 seat for the U.S. House in 2008, ousting Republican Marilyn Musgrave â€“â€“ this was the first CD-4 win for Democrats in decades.
â€œThis has not been an easy two years for Americans,â€ Markey said. â€œWe are starting to recover, but there is still a lot to be done.â€
Ben Marter, spokesman for Markey, said sheâ€™ll take a long vacation after nearly four years of campaigning and work as an elected official. CD-4, he said, will likely look a lot different in 2012. But he said it was too early to determine if Markey would be interested in running again.
Out of the 164,594 registered voters in Larimer County, 60,037 of them are Republicans, 46,814 are Democrats and 56,420 are unaffiliated. The other 1,323 are dispersed between the Green Party, Libertarian Party and â€œother.â€
Doug Aden from the American Constitution Party snagged 4.6 percent of the vote and Unaffiliated candidate Ken Waszkiewicz came in with 1.4 percent of votes.
News Editor Kirsten Silveira can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.