Legislative Committee – July 1, 2024: Summary of 2024 Colorado Primary Elections, Look Ahead to General Elections


Courtesy of Dan Jablan, Cherry Point Strategies

Thankfully, yesterday’s primary election results reveal voters are moving back to the center as Democratic progressives lost most of their primary races, while conversative business Republicans defeated the MAGA candidates. Listed below are the results of all primary election races from throughout the state.

You can read more about specific races on the Colorado Sun and Denver Post. Overall, voter turnout was low, about 25% of active voters. And generally speaking, the legislature appears to be shaping up in a more normal fashion than we had feared. Sure, the Democrats remain in complete control, but the anti-business, victimization-obsessed candidates were defeated which hopefully creates space for more thoughtful and balanced policymaking.

The Wild Wild West lives on!

It’s not often that Colorado congressional seats are vacant and with 3 open seats, the June 25th primary election is reminiscent of scenes from the wild, wild west. A sitting Congresswoman fled her constituents, and moved across the state, only to run in another district. Another Congressman resigns in protest of the politics of Washington DC, only to create voter chaos in finding a replacement. Another federal representative takes the money and runs into retirement. Finally, a herd of candidates have jumped into the races.

Straight out of “truth stranger than fiction”, the Democrats funded television ads to support MAGA candidates, hoping to run against the weaker candidate in the November general election. National GOP interests ran television ads against the same candidate, afraid of losing the district in November. Republican Greg Lopez will serve as the U.S. Representative from CD 4 for the remainder of Ken Buck’s term, which ends in January 2025.

The Colorado GOP brand has been severely tarnished by the state chair, Dave Williams, who ran in CD 5 and used party resources to benefit his own campaign and other candidates he endorsed. Williams and the Colorado Republican party endorsed 18 candidates, with only four of those leading their contests.

As we move down to the races for the Colorado General Assembly, the races were also ideological battles – moderate versus progressive on the left and conservative versus MAGA on the right. With almost 20 legislative primaries across the state and parties, the results could define future state policies and elections for decades. Three incumbent House Democrats and three Republicans faced primaries. The three Democrats are considered the most liberal in the House; while the Republicans are accused of not being conservative enough. All three Dems (Epps, Hernandez, Marvin) lost their races while all three GOP lawmakers won (Kirkmeyer, Liston, Frizell).

Millions of dollars are being spent across several legislative primary races, as outside groups seek to influence the outcome of the election. In a rare political move, Governor Jared Polis publicly endorsed Democrats in several primary races. In House District 6, Polis supported Sean Camacho over the incumbent Rep. Elisabeth Epps; Rep. Judy Amabile in her bid for Senate District 10; Rep. Lindsey Daugherty in Senate District 19; and Michael Carter in House District 36. All of the candidates endorsed by Polis won their races.

Unaffiliateds are now more than 48% of the registered voters in Colorado and they can choose which party ballot to vote in the primary. Democrats represent just over 26% and Republicans make up the remaining 23.5% of the 3.855 million active registered voters in the state.

Primary Election Results (preliminary)

Below are unofficial results as of today, as final ballots are still being counted.

CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 3 (OPEN)

Registration: R-29.46%; D-22.03%; U-46.54%

Traditionally a strong Republican seat, the Western Slope last elected a Democrat, John Salazar for three terms from 2003 to 2009. When Ken Buck resigned from his eastern plains seat, twoterm Republican incumbent Lauren Boebert, announced she would run for the 4th Congressional District, with the polls showing she could lose in her current seat. Attorney Jeff Hurd, who had already announced he would primary Boebert, now faced 5 other Republican challenges in the open seat. The winner faces Democrat Adam Frisch, who lost by only 546 votes to Boebert in 2022 (Frisch was unopposed in his primary yesterday).

  • Jeff Hurd 41.3%
  • Stephen Varela 9.75%
  • Ron Hanks 28.45%
  • Lew Webb 8.00%
  • Russ Andrews 5.99%
  • Curtis McCrackin 6.53%

CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 4 (OPEN)

Registration: R- 34.97%; D-16.54%; U-46.80%

Lauren Boebert (R) v Trisha Calvarese (D)

The dominos began to fall in March when Ken Buck announced his resignation in CD 4. Not only did voters have to elect a replacement to finish out the term, they had to choose candidates for the general election. With several candidates already in the race, Congresswoman Boebert rode her saddle east and walked in to the primary race with the most name id and a million dollar war chest. Boebert was endorsed by Donald Trump and Speaker Mike Johnson. There was also a three-way primary on the left.

Republican:

  • Lauren Boebert 43.39%
  • Mike Lynch 10.64%
  • Jerry Sonnenberg 14.45%
  • Richard Holtorf 10.80%
  • Deborah Flora 13.68%
  • Peter Yu 7.05%

Democrat:

  • Trisha Calvarese 45.25%
  • John Padora 13.64%
  •  Ike McCorkle 41.11%

CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 5 (OPEN)

 Jeff Crank (R) v River Gassen (D)

Registration: R-29.83%; D-17.36%; U-50.57%

The El Paso County seat has been in the GOP hands since it was created in 1972 with only 4 Congressmen ever (Doug Lamborn, Joel Hefley, Ken Kramer, and Bill Armstrong). Lamborn announced his retirement in January of 2024. Current CO GOP chair Dave Williams – who has Trump’s endorsement – lost in the primary to businessman Jeff Crank, who is supported by Speaker Mike Johnson.

  • Jeff Crank 65.41%
  • Dave Williams 34.59

CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 8 (Caraveo)

Yadira Caraveo* (D) v Gabe Evans (R)

Registration: R-22.79%; D-25.51%; U-49.44%

STATE LEGISLATIVE PRIMARY RACES

COLORADO STATE SENATE

State Senate 2 –R

  • Lisa Frizell 66.25%
  • Timothy Arvidson 33.75%

State Senate 10 – R

  • Rex Tonkins 17.00%
  • David Stiver 22.07%
  • Larry Liston* 60.93%

State Senate 12 – R

  • Stan VanderWerf 59.66%
  • Adriana Cuva 40.34%

State Senate 18 – D

  • Judy Amabile 77.21%
  • Jovita Schiffer 22.79%

State Senate 19 – D

  • Lindsey Daugherty 64.04%
  • Obi Ezeadi 35.96%

State Senate 23 – R

  • Barbara Kirkmeyer* 72.04%
  • Natalie Abshier 27.96%

State Senate 28 – D

  • Mike Weissman 53.13%
  • Idris Keith 46.87%

COLORADO HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

State Rep 4 – D

  • Tim Hernandez* 45.89%
  • Cecilia Espinoza 54.11%

State Rep 6 – D

  • Elizabeth Epps* 37.35%
  • Sean Camacho 62.65%

State Rep 10 – D

  • Junie Joseph* 58.68%
  • Tina Mueh 41.32%

State Rep 20 – R

  • Jarvis Caldwell 66.06%
  • Jason Lupo 33.94%

State Rep 21 – R

  • MaryAnn Bradfield* 47.37%
  • Jan Koester 19.75%
  • Bill Garlington 32.88%

State Rep 30 – D

  • Kyra Kennedy 42.06%
  • Rebekah Stewart 57.94%

State Rep 36 – D

  • Bryan Lindstrom 38.24%
  • Michael Carter 61.76%

State Rep 43 – R

  • Lora Thomas 46.58%
  • Matt Burcham 53.42%

State Rep 45 – R

  • Max Brooks 55.83%
  • Bill Jack 44.17%

State Rep 49 – D

  • Lesley Smith 72.34%
  • Max Woodfin 27.66%

State Rep 52 – D

  • Ethnie Treick 37.58%
  • Yara Zokaie 62.42%

 State Rep 58 – R

  • Mark Roeber 50.16%
  • Larry Don Suckla 49.84%

State Rep 63 – R

  • Dusty Johnson 66.59%
  • Brian Urdiales 33.41%

State Rep 65 – R

  • Trent Leisy 37.56%
  • Lori Garcia Sander 62.44%

As always, we hope this information is helpful and look forward to discussing any questions or concerns you may have.