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August 12, 2008

Coffman wins GOP primary

Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman handily defeated businessman Wil Armstrong and two other rivals in the GOP primary to succeed retiring Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) in Congress.

With 96 percent of precincts reporting, Coffman led Armstrong 42 to 32 percent.

Coffman has already declared victory, according to the Denver Post.

"The voters of the 6th Congressional District have responded to our positive campaign that stayed on the issues," Coffman said at his victory party. "We never ran a negative ad, and I'm proud of that."

Coffman is considered a rising star in statewide GOP circles. A retired major in the Marine Corps, Coffman recently served a tour of duty in Iraq. Before elected as Colorado’s Secretary of State in 2006, Coffman served two terms as state treasurer and as a legislator in Tancredo’s district.

He passed up a gubernatorial run in 2006 to allow then-Rep. Bob Beauprez to face an easier path to the Republican nomination. (Beauprez lost badly in the general election.)

Some leading Republicans urged him not to run for Congress because Democratic governor Bill Ritter will be appointing a Democrat to take his place as Colorado's Secretary of State – assuming he wins the general election.

Coffman will be facing Democratic aviation consultant Hank Eng in November, a race where he is heavily favored. The suburban Denver Sixth District is solidly conservative, giving President Bush 60 percent of the vote in 2004.