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Tancredo Garners A 4th Term
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Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo won a fourth term handily over a determined newcomer, Democrat Joanna Conti of Genesee, on Tuesday.
Tancredo, the former state legislator cum Capitol Hill quarterback of the immigration reform movement, jumped out to an immediate double-digit lead, then cruised to a victory as results rolled in from voters in Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert, Jefferson and Park counties.
Conti’s campaign focused on Tancredo’s “extremist” views — namely, immigration. She said his positions did not reflect those of the suburban district.
Tancredo thought otherwise, and said Tuesday evening that the district’s voters endorsed his views.
“One of the things that kept coming up constantly in the campaign was that I focused too much on the immigration-reform issue,” Tancredo said shortly after giving his victory speech. “I would suggest that the reason I did as well as I did was because I did that.”
Tancredo benefited from nearly twice as many registered Republicans as Democrats in the district.
Conti, a former Republican, had hoped to bridge the deficit by collecting moderate GOP members and the district’s 152,462 unaffiliated voters.
“I feel I ran a good race and focused on some important issues,” she said. “We came up short, but that’s what happens when you run in a tough district.”
Tancredo won a third term two years ago by collecting 67 percent of the vote. He also had lopsided wins in 2000 and in his first congressional bid in 1998.
He credited Conti’s votes to the hard-fought presidential race, which brought out the 6th District’s Democrats.
Conti had promised to focus on affordable health care, better management of the national budget, reasonable environmental protections and foreign policy based on diplomacy.
Tancredo portrayed Conti as too liberal for the district, pointing to her campaign donations from trial lawyers and immigrant rights advocates.
A chemical engineer, former food company executive, international businesswoman and philanthropist, Conti said the district’s GOP advantage proved too much in the end.
As late as Tuesday afternoon she was stumping for votes outside the South Metro Fire Station on Chatfield Drive in Douglas County.
After conceding the race at 10 p.m., she did not rule out another run in two years.
“The one promise I’ve made is that I won’t make that decision for some time,” she said.
In every race since it was carved out after the 1980 census, the district has picked a Republican.
(Posted on November 4, 2004)