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Democrats emerge 

Miles upsets Salazar; Hardee tosses in hat

click to enlarge Mike Miles, left, garnered more support than the better-known Ken Salazar, at right, during last weekends Democratic assembly.
  • Mike Miles, left, garnered more support than the better-known Ken Salazar, at right, during last weekends Democratic assembly.

Democrats are pinning their hopes on Fred Hardee, a longtime party activist from Colorado Springs, to dislodge Colorado's senior congressman, Republican Joel Hefley, from office this November.

A win by Hardee would be a major upset. Hefley, who is seeking a 10th term representing the 5th Congressional District, has never received less than 66 percent of the vote in any of his re-election bids.

The Republican-dominated 5th District includes El Paso, Teller, Fremont and Lake counties, as well as portions of Park County.

Hardee, a businessman and former local Democratic Party chairman, won the nomination to challenge Hefley during last weekend's state Democratic assembly in Pueblo.

Despite the strong odds against him, Hardee said he's running to win. Voters are fed up with the war in Iraq, unemployment and rising gasoline prices, and they're ready for a change, he maintained.

"I'm looking at running hard and putting the truth out," Hardee said.

Also at the weekend's assembly, Fountain educator Mike Miles beat State Attorney Ken Salazar in a vote on who should be the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell.

Miles won backing from 52 percent of the delegates attending the assembly, while Salazar received 48 percent of the vote. Both candidates will appear on the ballot for the Aug. 10 primary election.

Salazar, who shied away from debating Miles prior to the party assembly, announced Sunday he would agree to a series of debates.

-- Terje Langeland

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