Published: November 5, 2014
An upset appeared to be brewing Tuesday night in the race for House District 17, with Republican Kit Roupe mounting a strong bid to unseat first-term Democrat Thomas “Tony” Exum Sr.
Roupe led Exum, a former Colorado Springs firefighter, by a margin of 48 percent to 44 percent with 13,021 ballots counted at 9:30 p.m. – a lead that, if it held overnight, would signal a key victory for the GOP.
“The credit is due to Kit herself and our team of volunteers, who have knocked on doors relentlessly,” said Daniel Cole, executive director of the El Paso County Republican Party. “We especially targeted low-propensity Republican voters and unaffiliated voters.”
Surrounded Tuesday night by fellow El Paso County Republicans, Roupe struck a conciliatory tone that belied a confidence the results would hold.
“I thank him (Exum) for his graciousness,” Roupe said. “He brings a lot to the table.”
Meanwhile, Exum had yet to concede shortly before the latest results at
9:30 p.m. were revealed. An hour earlier, with the margin still at 4 percentage points, he lamented the difficulty of keeping the seat in a midterm election. He placed part of the blame for his poor showing on less-than-stellar voter turnout.
“The sad part about it is that people can’t take
15 minutes to fill out a ballot . ” Exum said.
Standing in the back of the El Paso County Democratic Party’s election reception Tuesday, Exum noted several bills that he passed in his two years in the House, including grant money to improve firefighter safety by helping small fire departments purchase equipment and get training, as well as a breakfast program for schoolchildren, and tax credits for child care expenses.
He later took a standing ovation from dozens of El Paso County Democrats as his political future remained uncertain.
“I have no regrets,” Exum said.
Read the full article at http://gazette.com/exum-on-the-verge-of-losing-his-house-seat-blames-low-voter-turnout/article/1540818#X2yIGc5Kble8GRHr.99.