Hanlon, Rankin in tight race for Colorado Senate District 8 seat | SkyHiNews.com

Hanlon, Rankin in tight race for Colorado Senate District 8 seat

Colorado Senate District 8 candidates, Democrat Karl Hanlon, left, and incumbent Republican Bob Rankin, took part in the Club 20 debates on Saturday.

Democratic challenger Karl Hanlon of Carbondale holds a razor-thin lead over Republican incumbent Bob Rankin in balloting for the Colorado Senate District 8 seat.

Vote tallies reported by counties to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, as of 10:02 p.m. Tuesday, gave Hanlon 50.5% of the vote to Rankin’s 49.5%, with just 749 votes separating the two.

Hanlon had taken an early 9 percentage point lead based on early returns, but the race quickly narrowed.

“This is a district that is really focused on the issues, and is trying to find a way to the candidate who can represent them on the issues that are really important to people,” Hanlon said as he waited for the final tallies to come in.

“It is an amazing thing to see people recognize how important their engagement is with this democracy,” Hanlon said of what was looking to be a historic record voter turnout in Colorado. “That’s what it’s all about.”

Senate District 8 includes Garfield, Moffat, Rio Blanco, Routt, Grand, Jackson and Summit counties.

Later returns had Hanlon winning in Routt and Summit counties, while Rankin had the edge in Garfield, Rio Blanco, Moffat, Grand and Jackson counties.

Rankin, who formerly served nine years in the state House of Representatives, is also from the Carbondale area. He is seeking election to the SD 8 seat he was appointed to in January 2019, replacing former Sen. Randy Baumgardner who retired in disgrace after sexual harassment allegations.

Rankin defeated Debra Irvine of Breckenridge in the June primary.

Hanlon is a municipal and special district government and water attorney, who currently serves as the contract city attorney for Glenwood Springs.

He and his wife, Sheryl Barto, run the Smiling Goat Ranch, which provides equine therapy services for autistic children and veterans with PTSD.

Hanlon ran for the 3rd Congressional District seat in 2018, losing in the primary to Diane Mitsch Bush. He won this year’s primary for the state senate seat over Democrat Arn Menconi of Eagle.

Rankin is a former small business owner and military veteran who has served 10 years in the Colorado Legislature. He is the senior member of the Joint Budget Committee.

His wife, Joyce Rankin, is running for reelection to the state Board of Education from Colorado’s Third District. She was leading over Democrat Mayling Simpson of Steamboat Springs in the latest tallies.

This is a developing story. Check back later for updates.

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