DENVER – Coloradans picked a host of Democrats they hope can unseat Republican incumbents in Congress in November, Denver’s congresswoman won her primary against another female challenger and a six-term Republican incumbent fended off the latest challenge in his district during Tuesday’s congressional primaries.
Jason Crow defeated Levi Tillemann in the Democratic primary in Colorado’s 6th Congressional District and will face five-term incumbent Republican Rep. Mike Coffman in November in a race that people have been watching since last year. As of 10 p.m., Crow led Tillemann with 67.5 percent of the vote to Tillemann’s 32.5 percent.
“Coloradans are ready to turn the page on our political dysfunction and usher in a new era of servant leadership,” Crow, a combat veteran who has called for lower health care costs and more stringent gun safety rules, said in a statement. “We're sending Mike Coffman a message: we are done with politics as usual and we demand progress, not partisanship. And we're going to bring that message to Washington in November.”
And after a primary between he and Tillemann that turned ugly in the final weeks, Tillemann thanked his campaign and said in a statement: “We nonetheless wish Jason Crow and his supporters success and victory in November.”
Coffman’s campaign, meanwhile, said it was prepared for the battle with Crow.
"Jason Crow is a white collar defense lawyer with a laundry list of shady criminal clients and a longer list of left-wing special interest financial backers that bought him the Democratic primary," Coffman campaign manager Tyler Sandberg said in a statement. "But still, congratulations to Jason Crow and Nancy Pelosi on defeating the guy who sprayed mace in his own face. Mike Coffman and his army of supporters are ready for the next round."
Six-term Congressman Doug Lamborn handily defeated his four Republican challengers in the 5th Congressional District primary, taking home 53.1 percent of the vote in what is typically the state’s most conservative district.
He made the ballot after a series of legal challenges made by his opponents over his ballot petitions, but the rest of the field still finished far behind on Tuesday. Darryl Glenn came in second with 20 percent of the vote, followed by Owen Hill (17.8 percent), Bill Rhea (5.7 percent) and Tyler Stevens (3.4 percent).
Lamborn will face Democrat Stephany Rose Spaulding in November. She was unchallenged.
Incumbent Rep. Diana DeGette, the Democrat who represents the state’s 1st Congressional District, easily defeated challenger Saira Rao, with 72 percent of the vote compared to Rao’s 28 percent. DeGette will face Republican Charles Casper Stockham in November, who was unchallenged.
Joe Neguse won the Democratic nomination in Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District – a seat vacated by Jared Polis, who won the Democratic nomination in the governor’s race Tuesday. Neguse defeated Mark Williams 66.5 percent to 33.5 percent.
If elected in November, Neguse would be the first African-American elected to Congress from Colorado.
“I am humbled by tonight’s results. None of this would be possible without the hundreds of grassroots supporters who took their time to support our campaign and I couldn’t be more grateful. Colorado is ready for a new Congress with fresh ideas and a bold vision for the future. Let’s move forward to November and elect leaders up and down the ticket who will fight for that future,” Neguse said in a statement.
Neguse will face Republican Peter Yu in November. Yu was unchallenged in Tuesday’s primary.
Diane Mitsch Bush won the Democratic nomination in the Democratic primary in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, garnering 64.2 percent of the vote. She defeated Karl Hanlon (27.7 percent) and Arn Menconi (8 percent).
Mitsch Bush will face Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., in November in a race that Democrats are also hoping will lead to a red seat turning blue. Tipton did not face a challenger in Tuesday’s primary, but about 3,000 more people voted in the Democratic primary in that district than voted in the single-candidate Republican primary.
In the 4th Congressional District, Karen McCormick defeated Chase Kohne 64.8 percent to 35.2 percent. McCormick will face Republican Rep. Ken Buck in November.
There were no contested primaries in Colorado’s 7th Congressional District. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., will face Republican Mark Barrington.
The primary was the first in which unaffiliated voters were automatically eligible to participate. While the full effects of their votes are not yet known, the 2018 primaries saw the most-ever votes cast in a Colorado primary, though it’s not yet clear if it is the highest percentage turnout in recent years.
In 2010, turnout was 32.4 percent after 774,071 ballots were cast out of the 2.39 million active registered voters. As of 4:10 p.m. Tuesday, 983,703 ballots had been cast out of the state’s 3.28 current active registered voters.
The full results will not be finalized until at least later this week.