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Taylor likely to retain Senate seat

Donna GrayGlenwood Springs Correspondent

Colorado Senate incumbent Jack Taylor, R-Steamboat Springs, had a lead of 316 votes in the Colorado Senate District 8 race as of press time early Wednesday morning. At that time, 62 percent of the votes had been counted districtwide, with Taylor holding a 52 percent to 48 percent advantage.Taylor’s opponent, Clark rancher Jay Fetcher, had 4,715 votes. District 8 includes Moffat, Routt, Jackson, Rio Blanco, and part of Eagle and Garfield counties.”I’m very optimistic at this point, I’m very excited. And I’m very thankful to Garfield County. This is our sixth campaign. We ran a positive campaign with our advertising. We can’t control the other side,” Taylor said.The campaign grew heated at times. During a debate at Club 20 in Grand Junction in September, Taylor and Fetcher accused each other of negative campaigning. Taylor called some of the Fetcher ads “hit pieces.” Fetcher denied they came from his camp but were from outside interest groups.Fetcher was unavailable for comment.During the campaign, Taylor touted his 12 years in the state Legislature, eight years in the Colorado House of Representatives and four years in the Senate. He said over 80 percent of all the bills for which he was the primary sponsor were passed into law, due to the level of trust he’s built with his colleagues in the Legislature.Taylor also took Fetcher to task for casting a deciding vote on a reapportionment committee that took Grand County out of District 8. Grand holds the headwaters of the Colorado River, yet it is now part of a district that mostly covers the Eastern Slope, which historically has sought to divert West Slope water. Taylor accused Fetcher of “really selling us down the river,” at a Club 20 debate in September.Taylor said he helped last year to defeat Referendum A, a state water initiative that West Slope residents feared would result in water diversions to the Front Range. He also said he has worked on protecting the interests of basins of origin on water issues.Fetcher, a rancher from Clark near Steamboat Springs, campaigned on his insistence on being free from the influences of special interest money.Fetcher criticized Taylor for voting to eliminate health care funding for low-income, pregnant women. Taylor said the state’s financial crisis forced his hand.


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