DENVER, AUG. 14 -- Former county commissioner Josie Heath defeated Carlos Lucero tonight in the race for the Democratic Senate nomination in the Colorado primary election, and voters in metropolitan Denver approved a sales tax increase to pay for a major league baseball stadium.
With 75 percent of the vote counted, Heath had 60 percent over 40 percent for Lucero in their race for the seat held by Sen. William L. Armstrong (R), who did not seek reelection.
Heath, 52, of Boulder, who was a Boulder County commissioner, picked up strong party support during the precinct caucuses last spring, forcing former state Democratic chairman Buie Seawell out of the race.
Heath captured the top line on the primary ballot at the Democratic State Assembly in June, leading Lucero by 2 to 1 and maintained her standing in the polls.
Lucero, 49, an Alamosa lawyer, mounted a relentless attack on the savings and loan scandal, particularly on Denver's Silverado Banking, Savings and Loan, which failed.
Lucero had what appeared to be little support and little money. He entered politics in 1984, losing to then-Lt. Gov. Nancy Dick in the Democratic primary for the Senate.
Heath will meet GOP nominee Hank Brown, who faced no opposition. Most polls have shown Brown would easily defeat the Democratic nominee in the November general election.
In the 4th Congressional District, state Sen. Wayne Allard of Loveland defeated state Sen. Jim Brandon of Akron 54 to 46 percent with 78 percent of the vote counted in a GOP runoff.
Allard and Brandon vied for the right to succeed Brown in the 4th District. The Democratic nominee, state Rep. Richard Bond of Greeley, was unopposed.
Republicans also chose Gale Norton over Richard "Mac" McManus in the attorney general's race, 60 to 40 percent. Norton will face Attorney General Duane Woodard (D), who was unopposed, in November.
Gov. Roy Romer (D) had no primary opposition; nor did his opponent, John Andrews (R).
Recent polls showed voters in six Denver-area counties nearly even on whether to approve a 12-year, 0.1 percent sales tax -- 1 cent on each $10 purchase -- that would raise $139 million for a new stadium. The tax would be dormant unless Denver is awarded an expansion franchise. The tax was approved 54 to 46 percent.