Republican Rep. Cory Gardner is projected to defeat Democratic incumbent Mark Udall for Colorado Senate, becoming the first Colorado Republican since 2002 to win either a Senate seat or a term in the governor’s office.
Both Fox News and the Associated Press called the race for Gardner, with six of the state’s 64 districts reporting. Gardner led 51-44 percent more than an hour after the polls closed, and with more than a million votes counted. Gardner had an early lead that continued through the night.
Udall isn’t willing to give up so quickly, however, noting on his campaign website that votes will continue to be counted throughout the night.
“With voters across Colorado still waiting in line to cast their vote, it is clear that it will take hours to count all the ballots,” campaign manager Adam Dunstone is quoted as saying in a statement online. “It’s also clear that, as long as ballots are being counted, Democrats will be gaining vote share all night long. This election has seen historic voter participation and our army of volunteers turned out thousands of new voters today alone. As we settle in for a long night, we remain confident in our path to victory.”
The seat is one of six Republicans need to pick up to win a majority in the U.S. Senate.
Meanwhile, Colorado’s big-ticket race for governor remained too close to call, with incumbent Democrat Gov. John Hickenlooper tied with GOP challenger Bob Beauprez 48-48 percent.
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