Baumgardner likely to win Colorado House District 57 seat |

Baumgardner likely to win Colorado House District 57 seat

Tonya Bina
Grand County, Colorado

The race for the State House District 57 seat between Democrat Todd Hagenbuch of Phippsburg and Republican Randy Baumgardner of Hot Sulphur Springs was too close to call at press time Tuesday night, though both candidates enjoyed large leads in their home counties.

According to late Tuesday night, Baumgardner had a 55 percent to 45 percent lead with almost 70 percent of precincts reporting.

Giving thanks to his supporters, Hagenbuch said Tuesday, “It would be my hope that we could work together on the issues that Northwest Colorado is facing. Part of representative government is representing people’s views and issues.”

The race is to fill the seat of exiting state Rep. Al White of Winter Park.

Hagenbuch’s platform called for a common sense approach to Colorado’s oil and gas development, solutions to Colorado’s crumbling infrastructure, creative approaches to healthcare reform and education, and advocacy for property rights.

The fourth-generation rancher said if he is elected he plans to support Rep. White’s positions on Second Amendment rights, including a statewide conceal and carry law that includes background checks to prevent guns from falling into the hands of the mentally ill and criminals.

Having visited nearly every corner of the 57th district in recent weeks, which includes Garfield, Rio Blanco, Moffat, Routt, Jackson and Grand Counties, he rounded out his campaign travels in Granby on Monday and Steamboat on Tuesday.

It has been an exhilarating, yet somewhat challenging campaign, he said, for the fact he and his wife Sarah traveled with their first newborn in tow.

“Anybody will tell you that campaigning is challenging,” he said. “But campaigning with a new baby in such a big district is especially challenging.”

Thanks to his wife, family and friends, he said, they found ways to make it work.

Baumgardner said Tuesday, if he’s elected, “Together we’re going to go ahead and do the best job we can for the people of this district. I’ll be at the state Capitol fighting for our interests.”

Baumgardner’s platform calls for defense of West Slope water interests, protection of civil liberties, encouragement of beetle-kill business solutions, exploration and production of oil and gas at home, education support and defense of private property rights.

Owner of the Baumgardner Cattle Company, he also supports protection of open space for agriculture as well as conservation of public lands for recreational uses, from motorized to hiking.

Having visited nearly every corner of the 57th district over the course of the campaign, Baumgardner rounded his campaign travels at home, traversing Grand County.

The experience was “enlightening,” he said. He was surprised to find out in his district travels that “people are not really involved with what’s going on.”

Campaigning, he said, also opened his eyes to the differences in the way people see issues.

Making empty promises during the campaign is something he said he was determined to steer away from.

“I’m not opposed to crossing the aisle for something that is good for the people,” he said. “I’m willing to work with either party to get things done for the interest of the people. I’ve got the interest of the people of House District 57 at heart and I’m just going to work really hard for them.”

” Check today for updates on all of Tuesday’s races.

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