Pace takes Tipton to task on DNA law

Editor’s note: This is the Herald’s weekly roundup of campaign news.

DENVER – After absorbing hits from his opponent for months, Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, went on the offensive this week, calling out Democratic challenger Sal Pace on crime and health care.

Tipton signed on as one of five co-sponsors on a national version of Katie’s Law, the most successful bill he sponsored in the state Legislature. It requires people arrested for felonies to submit a DNA sample to a national database for unsolved crimes.

“This common-sense measure will aid law enforcement in tracking down dangerous criminals, protecting our women and children, and preventing future crimes from being committed,” Tipton said in a news release.

Pace agreed with current law that people convicted of felonies must submit DNA samples. But he disagrees with Tipton that DNA samples should be taken before conviction.

“The law in question requires those arrested, not charged nor convicted, to have their DNA collected by the state and put in a database forever,” “I was and remain concerned about the privacy issues this presents. People who have never been found guilty of a crime should not have their private DNA tracked by our government.”

Primary results: In addition to the Montezuma County commissioner and district attorney races, voters settled several contests Tuesday.

Republican Brian Davidson won the right to face incumbent Democrat Stephen Ludwig in the race for University of Colorado regent.

Davidson beat Republican Matt Arnold, whose campaign was dogged by allegations that he falsely claimed to have a master’s degree and endorsements from metro area Republicans.

Up north, Republicans chose Rep. Randy Baumgardner of Cowdrey in a Senate primary against incumbent Jean White of Hayden. White’s loss means Durango Sen. Ellen Roberts is likely to be one of just two Republican women in the Senate.

Meanwhile, Western Slope Libertarians chose 2010 congressional candidate Gregory Gilman to run again. He beat humorist Gaylon Kent 60 percent to 40 percent.

Poll position: The frequency of presidential polling in Colorado is increasing. On Monday, the firm We Ask America called 1,083 likely voters in Colorado and found Obama leading 46.6 percent to 43 percent. That’s barely outside the poll’s 2.98 percent margin of error.

Countdown: 129 days until the November election.

jhanel@durangoherald.com