Marc Catlin appears to have handily won reelection for House District 58 Tuesday night, defeating Democratic challenger Seth Cagin, according to unofficial results.
Catlin carried the day with 64.91% of the vote to Cagin’s 35.09%, according to numbers from the Colorado Secretary of State. Cagin carried his home county, San Miguel, with 74.94% of voters there favoring him over the Montrose Republican.
The remaining three counties that include parts of House District 58 tipped heavily for Catlin, securing his reelection.
Montrose County voted for Catlin 17,471 to 6,445 for Cagin, according to unofficial results as of Wednesday morning.
Dolores County gave Catlin 77.56% of the vote and Montezuma County, 63.71%, according to the Secretary of State’s numbers.
“All I can say is thanks,” Catlin said at the polls in Montrose. “It’s always worrisome to have your name on the ballot. It looks like people feel like we’re doing what they want us to do. It will be a different year for us (Legislature). Hopefully, we’ll be able to stay full term, rather than have to leave (because of COVID-19 restrictions).”
Cagin, who last week indicated he did not expect to eke out a victory in the heavily Republican district, said the results were similar to his previous run for the seat, although he did slightly better this time around.
“The district’s 60-40 partisan makeup is very clear and the lesson I’ve taken away from my two races is that it is all but impossible to change partisan minds,” he said.
“This is the same lesson we can take away from the national results. It’s harder than ever to imagine how we will come together to tackle the enormous problems we face as a society. So I can’t pretend to be encouraged. But, we have no choice (but) to keep trying to find that elusive common ground.”
Catlin thanked his opponent for stepping up to run.
“Putting your name on ballot is tough. It doesn’t matter which side of the aisle you’re on. I appreciate the fact that he took the time, the effort and ran his race. Congratulations to him,” Catlin said.
He extended good wishes to Cagin over his family member.
“I appreciate him being in the race. That way there’s somebody there for people to vote for,” Catlin said.
Catlin also thanked voters and praised the high turnout, which showed people want to be involved. “It’s been a tough time, but they got to the polls. They either did that or turned in (ballots) early, so thanks to everybody,” he said.
Catlin acknowledged there likely would not be a Republican majority in the state House. “It doesn’t look like we’ll have a majority. A lot of our candidates are down. Hopefully, we don’t lose anymore,” he said.
That’s why outreach to encourage bipartisanship is important, Catlin added.
“Being in such a large minority is a real struggle. You have to be pretty good at being able to talk to your colleagues … That’s why I try to take bills that are good for our district, explain to those urbanites that this will help. So far, we’ve been really good at that. You have to go talk to people. … To pass one today, it has to be bipartisan.”
Catlin, R- Montrose, was initially appointed to the seat in 2017, after a vacancy. He was elected in 2018, when he also faced off against Cagin.
Also reelected Tuesday night were Montrose County Commissioners Keith Caddy and Roger Rash, who ran unopposed.
The 7th Judicial District will have a new district attorney in Seth Ryan, currently the chief deputy district attorney. Ryan, a Republican, ran unopposed for the seat. The outgoing district attorney is term-limited.
All 7th Judicial District judges sitting for retention will remain on the bench. Voters approved Judges Mary Deganhart, Cory Jackson and J. Steven Patrick.
Colorado Supreme Court Justices Melissa Hart and Carlos Samour Jr. also were retained, as were Colorado Court of Appeals Judges Ted Tow III and Craig Welling.
Katharhynn Heidelberg is the Montrose Daily Press assistant editor and senior writer. Follow her on Twitter, @kathMDP.