Brewery heir Peter Coors won the Republican primary for Colorado's open Senate seat yesterday, beating a conservative former congressman to set up a high-stakes showdown this fall with the Democratic attorney general.
In Georgia, first-term Rep. Denise J. Majette crushed a millionaire businessman to win the Democratic runoff for the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Zell Miller (D). She became the first black candidate nominated to the Senate in Georgia.
With 85 percent of precincts reporting, Coors had 170,581 votes, or 61 percent, and former representative Bob Schaffer had 110,692 votes (39 percent). On the Democratic side, Attorney General Ken Salazar had 144,953 votes (73 percent) and educator Mike Miles had 52,362 votes (27 percent).
The winner in November will take the seat held by retiring Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R).
Democrats believe the race represents a golden opportunity to gain a seat in the Senate, which the Republicans control by a slim margin. National Democrats are hoping Salazar will attract Hispanics to the polls, possibly giving presidential candidate John F. Kerry a boost.
Majette, 49, will likely be a heavy underdog against Rep. Johnny Isakson (R) in a state that has trended Republican in recent years.
Majette easily defeated Cliff Oxford, 40, a technology company founder who was recruited to run by former president Jimmy Carter. With all but six precincts reporting, Majette had 59 percent, or 160,858 votes, compared with Oxford's 41 percent, or 109,529 votes.
Majette, 49, gained national attention two years ago when she ousted former representative Cynthia McKinney, the state's first black congresswoman.