Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper barely held onto his seat Tuesday night, one of the few bright spots for Democrats during a day in which Republicans held onto all three of Colorado’s other constitutional statewide seats and are likely to gain a majority in the state Senate.
Ballots are still being counted in Democratic strongholds of Boulder and Denver counties, but the incumbent has enough of a lead that the Denver Post projected him the winner early Wednesday morning.
Both voters and candidates went to bed election night with the race too close to call. Early Wednesday, Hickenlooper held a 48.3 percent lead over Beauprez’s 47.1 percent with 93 percent of the votes already tallied, with a spread of about 22,000 votes.
As of Wednesday morning, Beauprez hadn’t yet conceded.
“From what I can see, there’s still almost 120,000 votes to be counted,” according to a statement from his campaign. “Bob wants to be sure every Coloradan has their voice heard, so we are going to continue to monitor results this morning as votes are still being counted.”
If the final count narrows the lead to 0.5 percent of the total votes cast, it will trigger an automatic recount.
“I think there is a strong likelihood right now that we will have a recount in the governor’s race,” Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler, himself a one-time candidate for governor, told the Denver Post.
If Hickenlooper holds onto his job, the gubernatorial race will be the only blemish on an otherwise flawless GOP night in Colorado. Republican candidates won the three other constitutional statewide offices of treasurer, attorney general and secretary of state.
Not since 1970 have Republicans won those and the governor’s mansion in one sweep, the Post reported.
Republicans also won a major victory at the state legislature, where 9News projects they will win between one and three seats — Republicans needed to only flip one seat to take the majority from Democrats.
In other races, Democratic Rep. Dianna DeGette easily won her tenth straight term representing Colorado’s 1st congressional district; Republican Rep. Mike Coffman won reelection in the 6th congressional district; Republican Ken Buck easily won in the 4th congressional district; Republican Scott Tipton won another term in the state’s 3rd congressional district; Democrat Jared Polis was reelected to another term in the 2nd congressional district; and Republican Doug Lamborn won another term in the 5th congressional district.
In the state’s most watched contest for Colorado Senate, Rep. Cory Gardner beat incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, 49-44 percent. (RELATED: Gardner Projected To Defeat Udall In Colorado Upset)
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