Updated 9:23 p.m.
The sprawling 3rd Congressional District covers the Western Slope and reaches into the Eastern Plains in the south of the state, just east of Pueblo. It has been a reliable Republican seat for the last 10 years.
And it will be up to Diane Mitsch Bush to flip the expansive district. The Associated Press called the race for her at 7:50 p.m. MDT.
As Mitsch Bush likes to point out, she came the closest any challenger to Rep. Scott Tipton in recent years. She lost by 8 percent. Tipton solidly dispatched all democratic challengers by double digits in previous races.
The trouble is, at the moment, Tipton trailed the entire evening Republican upstart candidate Lauren Boebert — and Tipton conceded the race before it had been called.
That sets up a race for a reliably Republican district between a political novice and a seasoned politician.
In her race, Mitsch Bush, a former Routt County commissioner and state legislator, defeated political newcomer James Iacino. The business owner thought his experience might help with voters concerned about COVID-19’s impact on the economy.
It was a close-fought race. Iacino edged out Mitsch Bush at the assembly to get top line on the primary. Mitsch Bush had a slight fundraising edge.
Iacino thanked his supporters and family in a statement and started to make the case for his former rival.
"Our economy is in shambles, our environment is under extreme stress, and the ACA remains in a constant state of danger," Iacino said. "I’m proud to stand with Diane Mitsch Bush because my priorities are the same as they were then, and I know she will fight for what is right and bring a real voice back to the 3rd district."