18th Judicial District DA Race Heads to Recount

Secretary of State Jena Griswold notified the candidates for district attorney in Judicial District 18 on Wednesday that the tight race to be chief prosecutor in Colorado’s most populated judicial district will go to a recount starting Dec. 1. The margin of votes between John Kellner (R) and Amy Padden (D) is 1,433 votes out of 573,359 cast. The difference is 0.24 percentage points, 50.12%-49.88% in favor of Kellner. The recount must be completed by Dec. 8. Certification of the results will follow.

Padden, in a statement emailed to reporters, said that she is especially pleased by her performance in Arapahoe County. She leads Kellner by more than 15,000 votes there. Arapahoe County, where Democrats to have a voter registration edge, will be split off from the rest of the district, which also includes Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln counties, at the beginning of 2025. That means the 2020 election is the last in which voters in the three counties will elect one district attorney to serve them all.

Republicans outnumber Democrats in the 18th Judicial District overall and no Democrat has been elected district attorney there since the 1960s.

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