Scott Tipton defeats Diane Mitsch Bush in 3rd Congressional District race

Tom Ross
Steamboat Pilot & Today
Scott Tipton
Courtesy photo

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Incumbent U.S. Congressman Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, held a 10-point lead over former State Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, D-Steamboat Springs, with the majority of precincts reporting in his bid for a fifth term representing Colorado’s sprawling 3rd Congressional District, and that was enough for the Associated Press to call the race.

As of 7:45 a.m. Wednesday, with 100% of the counties reporting, Tipton earned 52 percent of the vote, out-polling Mitsch Bush by more than 26,000 votes — 159,878 to 133,345.

Tipton first wrested the 3rd District seat from incumbent Democrat John Salazar in 2012.

During the 2018 campaign Tipton emphasized his support for the tax reforms passed by the U.S. House of Representatives during his most recent term.

“To further grow the economy and create opportunities for families to prosper, we passed into law the most significant tax reform legislation in a generation,” Tipton wrote on his website. “This legislation eliminates loopholes and creates a fairer and simpler tax code, as well as amounts to about a $2,000 annual tax cut for the average family of four in the 3rd District.”

Reached at her election night headquarters in Grand Junction, Mitsch Bush said her campaign emphasized economic growth through public works projects.

“I have been focusing a lot on the economy — with investments in transportation and broadband infrastructure, water supply and the electric grid, there will be lots of good paying jobs.”

Voters in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District have elected three Republicans and three Democrats since 1980. And for at least the next two years Republican Scott Tipton will continue to occupy the seat. 

Looking back at a long campaign, Mitsch Bush said her interactions with voters in one of the geographically largest congressional districts was rewarding.

“The thing that has struck me those most, is how people say people in America don’t care anymore … it’s hate and negativity,” Mitsch Bush said. “I’ve found just the opposite from meeting people in all 29 counties.

“People everywhere in our district work very hard, not just for their families, and they are looking to the future,” Mitsch Bush said. “That’s one of the most wonderful things about this campaign.”