Steamboat’s Diane Mitsch Bush wins CD3 Democratic primary |

Steamboat’s Diane Mitsch Bush wins CD3 Democratic primary

David Krause
The Aspen Times
DIane Mitsch Bush
Courtesy DIane Mitsch Bush

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — In her second effort to win Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District seat, Diane Mitsch Bush of Steamboat Springs beat political newcomer James Iacino in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

As of 9:15 p.m., Mitsch Bush held 61%, or 59,022, of the 96,730 votes counted, according to the Secretary of State’s results. She handily won Routt County, with 4,662 votes to Iacino’s 838 votes.

She said Iacino called her at about 8 p.m. to concede the race and congratulate her on the win.

“He very kindly called and conceded very graciously and gave me his strong support,” Mitsch Bush said Tuesday night. “He was clear that we are going to work together to win this seat for the people. … I’m honored and humbled so many people voted for me.”

Mitsch Bush lost to Rep. Scott Tipton in 2018 by a 51.5% to 43.6% margin. However, Tipton lost the Republican primary to political newcomer Lauren Boebert of Rifle. He conceded the race to Boebert just after 9 p.m.

“It surprises me a little, but I thought she might get a lot of traction in this race because of her base,” Mitsch Bush said of Boebert leading Tipton. “I was on a panel with her once, and she really stays on message, and her beliefs are very strong, and she is very articulate.”

Mitsch Bush, who moved to Routt County in 1976, was a two-term Routt County commissioner, then represented Routt and Eagle counties in the State House of Representatives for three terms from 2013 to 2017. While in the House, she was chair of the Transportation and Energy Committee and vice chair of Agriculture and Natural Resources. She also served on the Joint House-Senate Water Committee for five years.

She was a tenured professor at Colorado State University, and she also worked on the faculty at Colorado Mountain College, where she taught and did research for 11 years. 

Iacino entered the race in October 2019, stepping down as the CEO of Seattle Fish Co., which is his family’s business based in Denver and has an office in Montrose. He was running for his first office and now lives in Ridgway with his wife and two children.

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“Last October, when we launched this campaign, we had one goal in mind: to beat Scott Tipton and bring real representation back to western and southern Colorado,” Iacino said in a statement released Tuesday evening. “Our economy is in shambles, our environment is under extreme stress, and the ACA remains in a constant state of danger. 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.”

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