GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Republican Scott Tipton has defeated three term incumbent, Democrat John Salazar in the race for the U.S. House Third Congressional District seat.
With 96 percent of precincts reporting, Tipton received 49.2 percent of the vote compared with 46.7 percent for Salazar.
Tipton led Salazar for most of the night Tuesday, but most media outlets did not call the race for him until about 11:40pm.
Tipton spent election night in downtown Grand Junction at Naggy McGee's. After an emotional outburst from the crowd when he was declared the winner, Tipton told them "This is your victory."
"We're excited now to finally see that check mark by our name," said Tipton, "It's been a long evening. But it's very gratifying to see that come up in our favor in the third congressional district."
11 News was the first station to speak with Tipton following his victory. He says he believes he came out on top because the citizens of the Third CD weren't happy with the way their vote was being cast in Congress.
"It didn't coincide with what many of us feel," said Tipton. "That we've got to be responsible with taxpayer dollars, we've got to be standing up for hard working for moms and dads, and worry about putting businesses back into those vacant spots along our Main Streets. That ultimately I think was the turning point in this election."
He says he looks forward to going to Washington, "rolling up his sleeves and getting to work."
"It's always been my philosophy that I don't care whose idea it is, I just care what the idea is," said Tipton. "If it's going to be about job creation in the private sector, if it's going to be about being responsible with taxpayer dollars, reducing and not building the size of government you'll work with anyone. It doesn't matter what the initial behind the name. We'll be putting forward those ideas and hope that we get a receptive reply in return."
Several people, including members of Tipton's family had tears in their eyes as he declared victory. He says it was an emotional night for all -- especially considering that when he ran against Salazar in 2006, he lost by double digits.
"A lot of people in this room invested a lot into this race in terms of time, energy, and resources," said Tipton. "Four years ago, we had a very different outcome. We've worked very hard and it touches your heart to see this kind of a response tonight."