Josie Heath, a former Boulder County commissioner, and attorney Carlos Lucero each won enough support at the Colorado Democratic Convention yesterday to win a spot on the Aug. 14 primary ballot -- despite misgivings that a contested primary could hurt the eventual nominee.

Rep. Hank Brown (R-Colo.), unopposed in the GOP primary, has been plotting his Senate campaign for more than a year. Sen. William L. Armstrong (R) is not seeking reelection.

Lucero had emerged from county caucuses with just over the 30 percent minimum needed to force a primary, but a flurry of backstage brokering jeopardized his delegate support.

A prominent group of Democrats led by Buie Seawell, who dropped out of the race after faring poorly in the caucuses, last week urged delegates to avoid the primary. "We fear if there is a primary race, the Republicans will not have to defeat our candidate. We will have done it to ourselves," the group's letter said.

But Lucero gained support at the convention, winning 36 percent to Heath's 64 percent after a fiery speech in which he pledged to return government to the people.

Little divides the two Democrats on most issues, but Lucero, who is from Alamoso, is expected to emphasize his concern for minorities while Heath, from richer and trendier Boulder, will focus on environmental issues.