For most people, an election causes anxiety and discourse because it means endless political ads and people politicking for their favorite candidate. Often, the average citizen simply bides his or her time until the election is over so he or she can get back to regular life. This was especially true in swing state Colorado, where it seemed like a presidential candidate was visiting the state every week. But while most people know that President Barack Obama won the recent election and won Colorado with 50.9 percent of the vote, there are other elections that deserve attention as well.
All seven House of Representative seats were up for re-election. In the First District, Democrat Diana DeGette won 68 percent of the vote, in the Second District, Democrat Jared Polis won 56 percent of the vote to reclaim his house seat. Republican Scott Tipton reclaimed his seat with 53.4 percent of the vote. Republican Cory Gardner won the fourth district with 58.6 percent of the vote. Republican Doug Lamborn won the fifth district with 65.3 percent of the vote, Mike Coffman won the Sixth with 48.7 percent of the vote in the closest of the seven districts defeating challenger Joe Miklosi by just over three percent, and finally Democrat Ed Perlmutter won the Seventh district with 53.3 percent of the vote. All seven races were won by the incumbent, and only the Sixth district was within 10 percentage points.
The other key issues on the ballot were Amendments 64, 65, and Amendment S. Amendment 64 was an amendment to the Colorado State Legislature that would allow those over 21 years of age to legally possess marijuana, up to one ounce, and allow for someone of legal age to grow up to six plants for personal use. Amendment 64 was approved by a majority of 54.8 percent of people, making Colorado, and later in the night Washington state, the first to legalize marijuana at the state level. Amendment 65 was to reform campaign finance limits to prevent the possible corruption of a candidate by special interest groups or large donors. It looked to limit the amount of money that could be donated to a specific candidate. It was overwhelmingly approved with 73.7 percent of people voting for campaign finance reform. Finally, Amendment S was approved by a 56.1 percent of voters. Amendment S is in regards to the state personnel system, requiring veterans’ preference to be expanded and increasing the number of potential candidates eligible for appointment to a certain position. It would also adjust the duration of temporary employment, require merit based appointments to be made by means of comparative analysis, and adjust the terms of service for members of the State Personnel Board among other things.
Judge Nathan B. Coats of the Colorado Supreme Court was retained, and the six Colorado Appeals Court judges, Daniel Taubman, Dennis Graham, Gale Miller, James Casebolt, John Webb, and Laurie Booras were also all retained. In Jefferson County, where CSM is located, the race for district 2 commissioner was won by Republican John Odom. The vote was decided by less than 150 votes, 50% to 49.9%.
Overall, there were 20 state Senate positions up for re-election and 65 State House positions up for re-election. Instead of recapping all 85 races, this article will focus on the 10 races residents of Jefferson county were able to decide. They included two state Senate posts, district 19 and 22, and eight state House posts, districts 1, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 28, and 29. Senate district 19 was won by Democrat Evie Hudak by just over 325 votes at 46.9% to 46.4%. Andy Kerr (Dem) won district 22 with 52.3% of the vote. Jeanne Labuda (Dem) won District 1 with 61.8% of the vote; Justin Everett (GOP) won state house district 22 with 52.4% of the vote; Max Tyler (Dem) won District 23 with 49.9%; Sue Schafer (Dem) won district 24 with 58.5%; District 25 was won by Republican Cheri Gerou; District 27 by Republican Libby Szabo, 52.9%; District 28 was won by Democrat Brittany Petterson, 52.5%; and lastly District 29 with 51.3% by Democrat Tracy Kraft-Tharp.
All Information from politico.com, denverpost.com and the 2012 State Ballot Information Booklet.