John Walsh Wins Denver DA Primary, Other Races Set for November

John Walsh, the victor in Denver’s District Attorney primary, stands outside in a blue suit jacket with an American flag and trees with fall leaves behind him.
John Walsh won the Denver DA primary, putting him on course to be Denver’s next DA. / Photo courtesy of John Walsh for Denver District Attorney.

Colorado voters headed to the polls across the state on June 25 to decide, in many cases, who their district attorney will be for the next four years. Only a handful of districts will have a competitive election in the fall, and Denver will not be one of them. 

The Democratic primary saw John Walsh face off against Leora Joseph. Walsh is a former U.S. attorney for the state of Colorado and was a partner at WilmerHale before running for DA. Joseph is the director of Colorado’s Office of Civil and Forensic Health, with over two decades working in DA offices under her belt. 

In a debate on June 19, Walsh told voters he got into the race because of his concerns about the direction the city was heading in. He discussed the struggles the city has faced with safety issues, fentanyl and mental health crises, and he plans to address those issues with task forces, targeted enforcement, youth outreach and community engagement. 

Walsh won the race with 58% of the vote and he currently stands unopposed for the November general election. 

Denver Metro Races 

In Colorado’s 1st Judicial District, incumbent Democrat Alexis King ran unopposed in the Democratic primary. With her victory, and no opponent on the cards, the way is clear for her second term. 

The 17th Judicial District was similarly uncontested. Incumbent Democratic Brian Mason was also unopposed in his primary, with no Republican running against him. 

Another incumbent, Democrat Michael Dougherty, is set for another term in the 20th District as he won his primary uncontested. 

There will be one race in the Denver metropolitan area that will see a general election faceoff. Democrat Amy Padden is set to face Republican Carol Chambers in the 18th District. Voters will decide Republican John Kellner’s replacement in November. 

In Colorado’s newest judicial district, the 23rd, George Brauchler defeated Dagny Van Der Jagt for the Republican nomination. Brauchler will be up against Democrat Karen Breslin in November. Breslin ran uncontested in the Democratic primary. 

Going Down South  

Colorado’s second largest metro area, Colorado Springs, will see Democrat Jeremy Dowell face off against incumbent Republican Michael Allen, following Allen’s primary victory against David Wilson. 

Down in Pueblo, Democrat Kyle Aber is set to go up against Republican Kala Beauvais, as voters will choose a replacement for current DA Jeff Chostner. 

In the southeast corner of the state, the DAs are set for their next term. Democrat Nicholas Dale won an uncontested primary in the 3rd Judicial District, and Republicans Andrew Hayden and James Bullock won their uncontested primaries in the 15th and 16th Judicial Districts, respectively. 

Into the Mountains

Voters in the mountains will only see one contested general election. In the southwest corner of the state, Democrat Christian Hatfield will be up against Republican Jeremy Reed in the 22nd Judicial District. 

The one anomaly across the state is in the 14th Judicial District, where no candidates were registered for either party’s primary. The current DA, Matt Karzen, was appointed to the office in 2019. 

The candidates for office, who all won uncontested primaries and face no opponent in the general election, are as follows: 

5th Judicial District — Heidi McCollum, Democrat. 

6th Judicial District — Sean Murray, Democrat. 

7th Judicial District — Seth Ryan, Republican. 

9th Judicial District — Ben Sollars, Republican. 

11th Judicial District — Jeffrey Lindsey, Republican. 

12th Judicial District — Anne Kelly, Republican. 

21st Judicial District — Dan Rubinstein, Republican. 

Back Up North 

The DAs for the 8th, 19th and 13th Judicial Districts are all set for January 2025. Incumbent Gordon McLaughlin was uncontested in the 8th Judicial District Democratic primary and he will continue to represent Jackson and Larimer counties. 

In Weld County, incumbent Michael Rourke ran uncontested in the Republican primary and he will serve a third term as DA for the 19th Judicial District. 

Republican Travis Sides will continue to represent the 13th Judicial District, with no candidates running against him in the primary or general election. 

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