Democrats Jason Crow and Levi Tillemann qualify for primary in Colorado's 6th congressional district

DENVER – There will officially be a Democratic primary in the race to unseat five-term Congressman Mike Coffman in Colorado’s 6th congressional district, in what is expected to be the state’s hottest congressional race of 2018.

Jason Crow and Levi Tillemann both qualified for June’s primary ballot at Thursday’s district assembly in Aurora. Crow garnered 64.4 percent of the assembly vote, while Tillemann took home 35.5 percent.

Both candidates had hoped to top the 30-percent threshold required to make a congressional primary ballot in Colorado, though it’s possible that Tillemann only needed 10 percent since he also submitted ballot petitions.

Attorney David Aarestad, who was originally also vying to make the Democratic primary ticket, withdrew from the race last month and endorsed Crow.

Crow led both Coffman and Tillemann in the last round of fundraising.

Crow also announced earlier this week that he’d raised an additional $461,832 in the first quarter of 2018.

“I am honored by the overwhelming support that we received at assembly tonight,” Crow said in a statement posted on Twitter. “It’s clear that the 6th is ready for servant leadership and a candidate who will put people first. The grassroots support we’ve received over the last year is nothing short of humbling.”

“WE ARE ON THE BALLOT!” Tillemann posted to his campaign Facebook page. “We don’t have a million dollars (yet), but we proved that we are a force to be reckoned with tonight here in Congressional district 6!”

The two Democrats, as well as Coffman, will have to win over unaffiliated voters, which are the state’s largest voting group, as they are now allowed to participate in primaries.

Coffman will be the sole Republican on the ballot after his challenger, Roger Edwards, failed to reach the 30-percent threshold at last weekend’s Republican district assembly.

The latest national polling regarding congressional district races in 2018 indicates the 6th congressional district is a toss-up between Coffman and the Democrats, though Coffman’s campaign has said that has been the case in the past when Coffman also was victorious.

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