Democrat Ed Perlmutter won a hard-fought race for a GOP-held congressional seat Tuesday, strengthening his party's newfound hold on the House with victories in other Republican districts nationwide.

Another Democratic hopeful, Angie Paccione, came up short in her bid to oust two-term Republican Rep. Marilyn Musgrave to represent Colorado's sprawling eastern plains and its fast-growing cities north of Denver. And the GOP kept its holds on the 5th District anchored by Colorado Springs, despite concerns that Doug Lamborn might have trouble against Jay Fawcett, a retired Air Force officer.

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With 99 percent of the projected vote counted, Musgrave led Paccione 46 percent to 43 percent, or 103,260 votes to 95,486. Reform Party candidate Eric Eidsness grabbed 11 percent of the total with more than 25,000 ballots — something experts chalked up to a protest vote against the others.

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