Sanchez, Woods run the table in Jefferson County state senate primaries

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Laura Woods and Tony Sanchez, two candidates backed by Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, won GOP primaries for state senate seats in Jefferson County.

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — Rocky Mountain Gun Owners are celebrating two hard-fought primary victories in Jefferson County tonight, although one was far clearer than the other.

Newcomer Tony Sanchez, who just moved to Colorado last year, won an easy over on attorney Mario Nicolais in the race for the GOP nomination in state senate district 22.

Sanchez, who benefited from a number of RMGO’s direct mail pieces attacking Nicolais over his refusal to full out the group’s survey and his support for civil unions, doubled up Nicolais 66-33 percent with around 8,000 votes counted. However, Sanchez declined to go on camera when FOX31 Denver reached out to him Tuesday night.

An admittedly nervous Laura Woods, who beat Lang Sias in neighboring senate district 19 by a somewhat smaller margin, went on camera for the first time as a politician Tuesday night, saying her primary win “all started with the recalls,” speaking about her efforts to organize two recalls against Democratic senator Evie Hudak for her votes on stricter gun regulation. Hudak eventually resigned in November.

“We’re riding the conservative wave in Colorado,” Woods said. “We’re really excited to be here now.”

Senate Democrats might also be excited about Tuesday’s result, in large part because they believe both Sanchez and Woods are too conservative for the districts they are seeking to represent. If Democrats are able to defeat both candidates, it will go a long way in helping them hold onto their one-seat majority this November.

Some Republican analysts feel the same way.

“These are very competitive districts in a very competitive county,” former Colorado GOP chairman Dick Wadhams said. “And if the wrong candidates win these primaries, they cannot win these competitive districts. Lang Sias can win. Mario Nicolais can win. Their opponents (Woods and Sanchez) cannot.”

With Nicolais headed for defeat early, Sias wasn’t far behind him, trailing Woods 55-45 percent with close to 10,000 ballots cast.

Sias conceded around 9:30 p.m., after both candidates waited to see if a significant number of votes remained uncounted. In the end, it seemed a 10-point margin would have been difficult to overcome.

Sias who lost a 2012 race for the same district to Hudak, has received some help from Colorado Concern, a group of area CEOs that’s spent money on his behalf through an independent committee. He was blasted by an RMGO mailer for accepted the contribution, with the organization pointing to the involvement of Tim Gill, who the mailer labeled a “liberal millionaire homosexual.”

The results again underscore the power of the RMGO machine in appealing to and turning out a smaller, more-conservative primary electorate with hard-edged advertising.

Moments after conceding to Sanchez, that was a topic Nicolais touched on.

“I’m not going to fault them (RMGO),” Nicolais said. “They understood that if they played in the primaries in a vacuum, where they were the only people who were sending out mail and such, they get to pick the candidates. I think one of the things you see in this particular primary is that this is absolutely their party.

“I was banking on there being outside money for someone who didn’t support personhood and someone who did support LGBT rights,” Nicolais continued, speaking about some of his more moderate stances on social issues. “I was wrong and Tony was right. So he won. That’s the bottom line.”

The general election will determine whether that’s good or bad for the GOP’s bottom line.



  • jakebrake77

    Once again that elitist Republican Wadhams predicting doom and gloom simply because the typical RINO he and his ilk support lost is nothing new. Why doesn’t he and the rest of the GOP merely get behind the candidates the voter chose, rather than crying like a big baby because their chosen one didn’t win?

  • Matt L

    Looking forward at at least two more years of a Democratic Majority. Woods and Sanchez are unelectable in JeffCo… but at least the GOP primary voters got the candidates they wanted.

    • Dick Peabody

      Can’t speak to the race in District 19 but for Wadhams and the Marxist Dem Party to say Sanchez is too conservative for District 22 when it currently is being represented by an outright Liberal Loon is LOL funny. Dem. Andy Kerr is now in court trying to get TABOR, the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, declared unconstitutional because it restricts the amount of tax money he can spend. Kerr supports Common Core and the graphic kiddie porn found in the recommended reading lists and he’s anti-child and pro teachers union. He’s voted to crush rural Colorado with a $Billion dollars increase in electric bills to support costly, utopian “renewable energy” projects and he supports draconian gun control laws. And that’s just for starters.

  • Kae Mechiso

    If conservatives could only leave birth control and abortion out of their platform they may stand a chance to take Colorado back from the Progressives Socialists that infest the I-25 corridor.

    • Dick Peabody

      You’re being lied to or misled, Kae. The Republican Party is not now, nor have they ever been opposed to “birth control” if by that term you’re referring to contraceptives. I’m not certain of the current GOP stance on abortion but past “planks” have supported a Constitutional Amendment banning abortion on the grounds that the 14th Amendment protects the life of the unborn. This is a supportable position if you believe abortion is murder and, if you do, the moral imperative of that belief must take precedent over political expediency.

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