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Coffman wins GOP congressional primary, Jeffco vote

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By AJ Vicens

Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman defeated three fellow Republicans in the Aug. 12 primary to replace outgoing 6th District Congressman Tom Tancredo. In Jefferson County returns, Coffman bested businessman Wil Armstrong by roughly 10 percentage points.

In overall final results, Coffman tallied 40.1 percent of the vote, compared to 32.8 percent for Armstrong, a business leader and son of former Sen. Bill Armstrong. Highlands Ranch state Sen. Ted Harvey was in third place with 15.3 percent, and Centennial state Sen. Steve Ward had 11.8 percent.

The 6th Congressional District spans most of Jefferson, Douglas, Arapahoe and Elbert counties, and the northeast corner of Park County.

Coffman, a military and political veteran, will face Littleton Democrat Hank Eng in the general election Nov. 4. Coffman is now considered the favorite to replace Tancredo — known nationally for his rigid stance on immigration — considering that Tancredo defeated his Democratic opponent by 50,000 votes in 2006.

Meanwhile, Democrat Camille Ryckman defeated Vince Chowdhury in a closely watched Jeffco primary race in state House District 22. Ryckman, a former Jeffco Public Schools teacher, tallied 83 percent of the vote, with Chowdhury receiving 17 percent.

The two were competing to run against Republican state Rep. Ken Summers this fall.

The ballots cast for Chowdhury came seven weeks after his arrest and guilty plea for slapping his 16-year-old daughter on June 17. Chowdhury, South Jeffco's representative on the school board, suspended his primary campaign after his arrest was revealed by the Courier in early July, and he faced pressure to withdraw from the race. He has resisted calls to resign from the school board.

In another high-profile race, former Colorado Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald conceded the 2nd Congressional District's Democratic primary to Internet millionaire Jared Polis late Tuesday.

Polis topped Fitz-Gerald by 42 percent to 38 percent in final tallies.

Fitz-Gerald was trailing by 4 percentage points when she conceded about 10:30 p.m. Aug. 12. The 2nd Congressional District seat, now held by Mark Udall, is typically carried by a Democrat, making the primary the essential race.

Polis poured millions of dollars into the campaign, making it the most expensive race in Colorado history.

If Polis is elected in November, he will be the first openly gay man from Colorado elected to Congress.

The 2nd Congressional District includes Clear Creek, Eagle, Gilpin, Grand and Summit counties, Broomfield, most of Boulder County, and parts of Jefferson, Weld and Adams counties.

Staff writer Adrienne Anderson contributed to this report.