Colorado Election Results Open Thread

UPDATE (11:25): The big Denver paper and many of the other big TV stations have some major problems with their reporting. The Denver Post, for example, had Buck ahead of Bennet 48-46, on the strength of a 52-45 advantage in Boulder. A quick check of the Boulder Clerk and Recorder’s website has Bennet leading Buck 67-29. There are a lot of somebodies who should have caught this immediately — there’s no way Boulder County would go solid red for any Republican.

We recommend sticking with the results from Fox 31, which not only has a page that seems to actually load correctly, but isn’t making any obvious errors that we can see.

—–

UPDATE (11:16): It looks like we may be headed for at least one state legislative recount. In HD-29, Democratic Rep. Debbie Benefield trails Republican Robert Ramirez by 148 votes (50.34% to 49.66%).

—–

UPDATE (11:12): That didn’t last long. With 56% of ballots counted, Bennet and Buck are now tied at 47-47.

—–

UPDATE (11:00): Buck has pulled ahead of Bennet for the first time tonight, leading 49-46 with 49% of precincts reporting.

—–

UPDATE (9:50): It’s looking like the race that will have the biggest impact from an ACP candidate will not be the one anybody expected. The Secretary of State race is neck-and-neck, but the ACP candidate is already pulling 6% of the vote. Buescher may well win this seat by virtue of the American Constitution Party.

—–

UPDATE (9:44): The percentage of precincts reporting continues to rise, and Michael Bennet continues to hold a 50-45 lead over Ken Buck. This is not good news for Buck, because early returns should have favored him (Republicans voted in higher numbers than Democrats in early and absentee voting). Given Buck’s numerous gaffes in the last two weeks of the campaign, it’s not likely that late voters are going to choose him over Bennet, so it’s hard to see how Buck is going to make up 5 points with 27% of the vote already tallied.

—–

UPDATE (9:08): It’s always fun to see those really early returns that show absurd numbers. In HD-22, Democrat Christine Radeff is pummeling Republican incumbent Ken Summers 7,875 to 12. Yes, 12. For a few more minutes, anyway.

—–

UPDATE (9:05): Republican Cory Gardner is being declared the winner in CD-4.

—–

UPDATE (9:03): The Secretary of State race is coming down to the wire, and may be decided by the number of votes pulled in by the American Constitution Party candidate. Meanwhile, the race for Attorney General seems to be widening in favor of incumbent John Suthers.

—–

UPDATE (9:00): Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter has been declared the winner in CD-7.

—–

UPDATE (8:38): The old adage that Jefferson County decides statewide elections is largely holding form. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, unofficially, are doing better in Jefferson County, as is John Suthers. Cary Kennedy and Walker Stapleton are neck-and-neck in Jeffco, while Scott Gessler leads Bernie Buescher in the large west Denver suburb.

—–

UPDATE (8:35): Ladies and gentlemen, your next Governor…John Hickenlooper! The race has been called for Hick. Now the excitement turns to whether or not Dan Maes can cross the 10% threshold. From a Hickenlooper press release:

Colorado voters on Tuesday elected John Hickenlooper, a brewpub pioneer turned Mayor of Denver, as the 42nd Governor of Colorado.

“I am humbled and honored by the decision Colorado’s voters have made, and I accept the challenge you have entrusted to me to lead our state as Governor,” Hickenlooper said. “This is not the end of our journey. This is the beginning. And it starts with bringing people together.”

—–

UPDATE (8:20): Here’s a couple of developing stories to watch. All of this can change, of course, but as of right now…

  • Bennet maintaining early lead on Buck

  • Hickenlooper holding early lead for Governor

  • Tipton well ahead of Salazar in CD-3

  • Kennedy surprisingly strong in Treasurer race

  • Buescher may be saved by ACP candidate for SOS

  • Third party turnout not yet playing role in CD-4

  • Attorney General race staying close

  • Every major ballot measure getting crushed

  • Both Rep. Diana DeGette (CD1) and Jared Polis (CD2) have been declared winners already
  • —–

    We’ll update results as we can. In the meantime, please keep them updated, with links, in the comments below.

    *NOTE: Candidates in bold and italics have been declared the winner by at least one local news outlet.

    U.S. SENATE

    Michael Bennet (D): 47%

    Ken Buck (R): 47%

    56% reporting

    GOVERNOR

    John Hickenlooper (D): 51%

    Tom Tancredo (ACP): 37%

    Dan Maes (R): 11%

    48% reporting

    STATE TREASURER

    Cary Kennedy (D): 51%

    Walker Stapleton (R): 49%

    44% reporting

    ATTORNEY GENERAL

    John Suthers (R): 57%

    Stan Garnett (D): 43%

    44% reporting

    SECRETARY OF STATE

    Bernie Buescher (D): 44%

    Scott Gessler (R): 50%

    Amanda Campbell (ACP): 6%

    44% reporting

    CD-3

    John Salazar (D): 45%

    Scott Tipton (R): 50%

    63% reporting

    CD-4

    Betsy Markey (D): 41%

    Cory Gardner (R): 53%

    Doug Aden (ACP): 5%

    Ken “Wasko” (I): 1%

    69% reporting

    CD-7

    Ed Perlmutter (D): 53%

    Ryan Frazier (R): 42%

    16% reporting

    Who Will Win the Race for Attorney General?

    Vote away…

    Remember, we want to know what you believe will happen, not what you might want to happen. To repeat our usual description, if you had to bet everything you owned on the outcome of this race, who would you pick?

    Who Will Be Elected Attorney General?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

    Who Will Win the Race for Attorney General?

    Click below to vote.

    Remember — we want to know what you believe will happen, not what you might want to happen. To repeat our usual description, if you had to bet everything you owned on the outcome of this race, who would you pick?

    Who Will Be Elected Attorney General?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

    Who Will Win the Race for Attorney General?

    Vote after the jump.

    Don’t forget — we want to know what you believe will happen, not what you might want to happen. To repeat our usual description, if you had to bet everything you owned on the outcome of this race, who would you pick?

    Who Will Be Elected Attorney General?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

    Who Will Win the Race for Attorney General?

    Vote after the jump. Remember, we want to know what you believe will happen, not what you might want to happen. To repeat our usual description, if you had to bet everything you owned on the outcome of this race, who would you pick?

    Who Will Be Elected Attorney General?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

    Fundraising Updates for State Races

    The financial reporting period for state races running between July 29 through September 1 is now available online. Here’s how the statewide candidates stack up. Keep in mind that cash-on-hand amounts are deceiving at this point, since many candidates have already spent big chunks of money to buy advertising spots (with exceptions for Dan Maes and Scott Gessler, neither of whom has a good reason for having so little left in the bank).

    Figures below as Amount Raised Last Period/ Amount Spent Last Period/ Cash-on-Hand as of Sept. 1)

    GOVERNOR

    John Hickenlooper (D): $409,859/ $357,158/ $171,542

    Tom Tancredo (ACP): $199,229/ $58,376/ $140,853

    Dan Maes (R): $50,201/ $54,011/ $19,786

    TREASURER

    Cary Kennedy (D): $102,161/ $89,189/ $90,250

    Walker Stapleton (R): $27,385/ $15,880/ $22,712

    ATTORNEY GENERAL

    John Suthers (R): $64,958/ $15,671/ $346,775

    Stan Garnett (D): $43,690/ $120,342/ $23,259

    SECRETARY OF STATE

    Bernie Buescher (D): $36,158/ $8,708/ $139,661

    Scott Gessler (R): $13,745/ $38,071/ $14,725

    Big Line Updated

    The Big Line has been updated now that Democrat Andrew Romanoff’s fundraising numbers for Q1 have been reported.

    The biggest changes are on The Line are for Senate, Attorney General and CD-4…

    SENATE LINE

    This race has really come down to three people now: Sen. Michael Bennet for the Democrats and Jane Norton and Ken Buck on the Republican side.

    Bennet is raising as much money, if not more, as anyone else in the country and has already put four ads up on television. Democrat Andrew Romanoff had a weak Q1 in fundraising, but more importantly, he only added about $23,000 to his total warchest after spending most of the $385,000 he raised.

    Romanoff is just out of time now. He’s got $500k in the bank, but most of that will be spent on general campaign operations in the next 3-4 months. That means that he needs to raise at least a million dollars in the next three months to be able to afford a strong TV presence opposite Bennet. Even the staunchest Romanoff supporter can’t be optimistic about the chances of that happening.

    As for the Republicans, Norton is the only one of the three candidates who is raising real money. Buck is getting hundreds of thousands of dollars in outside interest group money running ads on his behalf, so that has to be factored into his total ability to raise his profile. Tom Wiens, meanwhile, hasn’t been able to raise much money from people not named Tom Wiens, and he’s going to have to make a decision in the next month or two about what to do with the $500k he has “loaned” to his campaign; does he stay in the race and spend that cash, or pull out and refund his loan to himself?

    ATTORNEY GENERAL

    A few weeks ago incumbent Republican John Suthers looked like a lock for re-election. But then he went and got involved in the health care reform lawsuit, and as a result he now has a serious Democratic challenger in Boulder County D.A. Stan Garnett. Suthers is as dull a politician as you will find, and Garnett has the ability to raise a lot of money in a very short time. At the very least, this race is now a tossup.

    CD-4

    Republican Cory Gardner had a good Q1 in fundraising, and the rest of the GOP field seems to have disintegrated. Gardner surely can’t wait for the legislative session to end so that he can stop having to take so many absences to head off to fundraise elsewhere. Meanwhile, Democratic Rep. Betsy Markey had another strong fundraising quarter and continues to do just about everything right. This race is going to get tighter, but we still give Markey the edge.

    BREAKING: Garnett Will Run For Attorney General

    We just received confirmation that Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett will indeed challenge Republican incumbent John Suthers for Colorado Attorney General.

    Full text of the press release after the jump–says Garnett:

    “I will work tirelessly to support law enforcement, protect Colorado’s natural treasures and aggressively pursue unfair business practices that threaten hardworking Coloradans.  The Colorado Attorney General’s office should be a dynamic and excellent group of attorneys who will take the lead to protect the environment, consumers and honest businesses. The authority of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office should be used to further the interests of all Coloradans and never on behalf of factions or special interests.”

    As we wrote a few weeks ago, Suthers was probably going to waltz to re-election until he decided to join other state AGs in a lawsuit over health care reform. Garnett is personable and has deep fundraising ties, both of which make him a tough opponent for Suthers, and the health care lawsuit gives him a great issue to run on. While Suthers has the advantage of incumbency (if that is really an advantage in 2010), he is as dull a politician as there is in Colorado; remember, he struggled in 2006 to beat Democrat Fern O’Brien, who was one of the weakest statewide candidates of the decade. This seat is definitely now in play for Democrats.

    UPDATE: The Longmont Times-Call reports:

    Suthers said Garnett “will be a very viable candidate.”

    But Suthers said he’s going to focus his own re-election campaign on the accomplishments of the attorney general’s office since January 2005, when Gov. Bill Owens appointed Suthers to that post to fill the vacancy created by then-Attorney General Ken Salazar’s election to the U.S. Senate.

    “I’m very proud of the work the attorney general’s office has done over the last six years, in all areas,” Suthers said. “I think we’ve done great work, and I’m perfectly willing to go out and explain and discuss it and let the voters decide whether I should remain in office.”

    Said Colorado Republican chairman Dick Wadhams: “From what I heard a few days ago, it sounded like the Boulder district attorney was motivated to run by his opposition to Attorney General John Suthers’ lawsuit on the (congressional) health care bill.”

    “If that’s the debate the Boulder district attorney wants to have, then let the game begin,” Wadhams said.

    UPDATE #2: The Denver Post’s Lynn Bartels writes for The Spot:

    Garnett said he doesn’t think Suthers should have joined the lawsuit over Obamacare or publicly announced he planned to vote against three of the four Colorado Supreme Court justices up for retention this year.

    Garnett also singled out three amicus, or friend of the party, briefs the attorney general’s office filed: in Nebraska, over gay marriage; in Kansas, over the death penalty; and in the District of Columbia, over gun control.

    He said he and Suthers also part on medical marijuana.

    “I’ve tried to take a position on medical marijuana that focuses on local control of dispensaries, and managing dispensaries in a way that is consistent with Amendment 20,” Garnett said. “John has taken the position that dispensaries should be outlawed rather than regulated and I don’t think that’s a realistic position.”

    Press Release

    Stan Garnett

    For Our Attorney General

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  

    April  7, 2010

    MEDIA CONTACT: Alec Garnett

    (720) 840 – 8132  

    Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett Enters Bid to be Next Colorado Attorney General

    Early tomorrow, Democrat Stan Garnett will file paperwork officially launching his candidacy for Attorney General of Colorado. Garnett, 53, said, “As a resident of Colorado for the past 48 years, I am honored to pursue this opportunity to serve the citizens of our wonderful State.”  

    “After thoughtful discussions with my family, friends, opinion leaders and constituents I am a candidate for Colorado Attorney General,” said Garnett.  “I will work tirelessly to support law enforcement, protect Colorado’s natural treasures and aggressively pursue unfair business practices that threaten hardworking Coloradans.  The Colorado Attorney General’s office should be a dynamic and excellent group of attorneys who will take the lead to protect the environment, consumers and honest businesses. The authority of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office should be used to further the interests of all Coloradans and never on behalf of factions or special interests.”

    As District Attorney for the Twentieth Judicial District, Stan Garnett has made prosecuting violent and sexual crimes a top priority and has established a vigorous Business and Economic Crime unit. Four murder cases (including two cold cases), have been tried under his tenure to date,  more than ever before in the Twentieth Judicial District.  Each has received a verdict of guilty as charged.  He has forged strong partnerships with law enforcement agencies and maximized County resources to run a streamlined, effective office.

    Joe Pelle, Boulder County Sheriff said, “Stan has been a hard-nosed prosecutor who has taken the time to build relationships with the Boulder law enforcement community. He will be a tough, honest Attorney General who will be on the side of the People of Colorado.”

    Garnett has worked with local government personnel to further the Drug Court model, which saves substantial taxpayer dollars and helps offenders become contributing members of society.

    Jean Dubofsky, former Colorado Supreme Court Justice and Garnett supporter said,”Stan is an excellent lawyer and a true leader.  He has deep roots in the state and is committed to the safety of our communities.”

    Garnett received his B.A. with distinction from the University of Colorado in 1978 and his J.D. from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1982. Garnett’s professional affiliations include The American Bar Association, The Colorado Bar Association, The Denver Bar Association and The International Academy of Trial Lawyers.  He was elected and re-elected to the Boulder Valley School District Board of Education where he served as President. Garnett lives in Boulder County with his wife Brenda. Together they have two children.

    For additional information, contact Stan Garnett by phone at (303) 668-3113 or (303) 499-6864 or via email at Stan.Garnett@gmail.com.  

    30

    Did Suthers Sue His Way Into a Tough Re-Election?

    By most account, the lawsuits being filed by Attorney Generals around the county (most of them Republicans) challenging health care reform are not likely to succeed. When Colorado Attorney General John Suthers joined the political gamesmanship by signing on to the lawsuit, he did so as a candidate who wasn’t facing a serious re-election challenge in November, so in theory he had nothing to lose politically by doing what national Republicans asked of him.

    But that may be changing.

    Incensed at Suthers for using his office to attempt to overturn legislation that was approved by 5 of 7 Colorado Congressional members and both Senators, Democrats are now more actively seeking a potential challenger to Suthers. One of the names that seems to be getting the most traction is that of Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett.

    Garnett has not yet indicated that he would run for A.G., but he is reportedly considering the race as recruitment efforts intensify. If he did decide to run, he would give Democrats a serious challenger to Suthers. Garnett is well-known in the legal community as a former powerhouse attorney at Brownstein, Hyatt & Farber, and he would have no trouble raising a lot of money in a very short period of time (and erasing Suthers’ $170k cash on hand advantage in a hurry).

    A week ago Suthers looked like he would walk into re-election in 2010, since a strong candidate like Garnett might not have been seriously tempted to take a run at him. But now that Suthers has waded into the health care debate, he has provided Democrats with a significant issue to use against him; combine that with a potentially well-funded challenger, and suddenly things don’t look so rosy for re-election anymore.

    Garnett Runs Unopposed in Boulder


    It appears as though the next Boulder District Attorney will cruise into office with little trouble (the unpopular Mary Lacy is term-limited).

    Stan Garnett, a partner in the high-powered law firm of Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber and Scheck, seems to have a clear path ahead of him in 2008. The only known opponent for Garnett – Boulder Deputy DA Ingrid Bakke – has told friends and colleagues in the DA’s Office that she will not run.