9:30 PM: Penry claims victory over Smith in SD 7 race

Mesa County: It’s a blowout with Josh Penry leading Matt Smith almost two to one for the State Senate 7 race. With nearly all the precincts reporting in, it’s about time to turn off the lights on the Smith campaign.

Democrats in Mesa County were surprised at the results. “We sure thought it was going to be a close race,” said one Democrat at the party headquarters. “Now we have to look ahead to help our candidate, Dana Barker.”On his way home to Battlement Mesa (there are three precincts in Garfield County which are included in the SD 7,) Democratic candidate for SD 7, Dana Barker hopes the results will give moderate Republicans a pause. He had heard there was a division in the Mesa County Republican Party over the Penry/Smith race.

“It’s my understanding that some just can’t stand Penry,” Barker said. “Perhaps just this once I can convince the moderate Republicans to vote Democratic in November,” Barker added, “Instead of them protesting with a non-vote for Penry.”

At a recent chamber debate, Barker was impressed with Smith. “I agreed with him on many issues and it would have been very hard for me to contrast our opinions had he been my Republican challenger.” With Penry, it’s a different matter. “Probably the only thing he and I would agree on is the sun rises in the East,” Barker noted.

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