State Rep. Mitsch Bush wins 3rd term in House District 26 |

State Rep. Mitsch Bush wins 3rd term in House District 26

State Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush celebrates Tuesday after learning she held a lead over Republican challenger, newspaper publisher and businessman, Michael Cacioppo, of Avon.
John F. Russell

— Diane Mitsch Bush is headed back to the State Legislature for a third term.

The Steamboat Springs Democrat easily won her re-election bid in House District 26 on Tuesday night.

With all but 450 ballots counted, Rep. Mitsch Bush was winning 62 percent of the vote in Routt County against Republican challenger Michael Cacioppo.

Cacioppo was also trailing Mitsch Bush heavily in Eagle County, according to the preliminary results there.

“I’m really pleased,” Mitsch Bush said while she watched election results come in with other Democrats at Aurum Food & Wine in downtown Steamboat.

She said it has been an honor to represent Northwest Colorado in the statehouse.

“Our district has the kindest, most creative and compassionate people,” she said. “This job’s not about me, it’s about them.”

Mitsch Bush said one of her top priorities during a third term will be to work with Republicans and Democrats to help solve the state’s transportation funding crisis.

Cacioppo congratulated his opponent on Tuesday and turned his attention to the national stage around 10:30 p.m. when Donald Trump appeared to be on the verge of winning the presidency.

“If Hillary Clinton is not elected president, I will be even happier than I already am,” Cacioppo said.

Mitsch Bush enjoyed a wide fundraising advantage during her race against Cacioppo, a newspaper publisher and businessman from Avon.

The latest campaign finance reports showed Mitch Bush entered the final stretch of the race with $25,416 in cash on hand after raising $71,980 this election cycle.

Her opponent raised $17,775 and had only $1,952 in cash on hand heading into the final days of the election.

Mitsch Bush told the Steamboat Today in October that finding relief for congestion on Interstate 70, tackling the high cost of health insurance in the mountains and finding a way to sustainably implement Colorado’s Water Plan were among her other top legislative priorities for her second term.

Mitsch Bush has served as the vice chair of the house transportation and energy committee and as a member of the house agriculture, livestock and natural resources committee.

For the last two legislative seasons, Mitsch Bush has been in the spotlight for her efforts to pass a new bill that aims to reduce traffic jams and accidents on I-70 during the winter by clarifying traction rules for drivers.

Her bill has been defeated twice by the State Senate, but she has resolved to try again.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

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