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Democrat Michael Bennet appears to have upper hand in tight Colorado Senate race [Updated]

There are still votes to be counted, but they come mostly from areas friendly to incumbent Michael Bennet, who holds a narrow lead over Republican Ken Buck.

November 03, 2010|By Nicholas Riccardi, Los Angeles Times

It appears that Democrat Michael Bennet will remain Colorado's junior senator.

In the tightest Senate race in the country, Bennet led GOP challenger Ken Buck by .4 percentage points, or about 7,000 votes, Wednesday morning. That led the Denver Post to declare him the winner. Colorado requires a recount if the margin of victory is less than .5% of the victor's total, but it seems like Bennet will surpass that threshold. There are still votes to be counted, but they come primarily from uber-liberal Boulder County and suburban Arapahoe, a situation that favors Bennet over Buck.

[For the record at 9:48 a.m.: An earlier version of this post stated that Colorado requires a recount with less than a .5% margin of victory. The state requires a recount if the margin of victory is less than .5% of the victor's total.]

Bennet, the former superintendent of Denver's school district, was appointed by Gov. Bill Ritter in January 2009 to fill out the term of Ken Salazar, whom President Obama tapped to be secretary of the Interior. Bennet had never held elected office, and the Colorado race became the nation's most expensive, with nearly $30 million spent by outside interest groups.

Buck, a conservative district attorney from northern Colorado, won the Republican nomination with the backing of "tea party" groups.

nicholas.riccardi@latimes.com

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