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Kennedy wins top line, Polis will join Dems’ gubernatorial primary ballot

April 14, 2018 Updated: April 14, 2018 at 8:48 pm
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Colorado Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cary Kennedy waves to the crowd while addressing the 2018 Colorado Democratic State Assembly at the 1STBANK Center in Broomfield on April 14, 2018. Photo by Andy Colwell for the Gazette

BROOMFIELD — Former state Treasurer Cary Kennedy won the top line on the June 26 primary ballot for governor at Saturday’s Colorado Democratic Party’s state assembly.

Kennedy, of Denver, received 61.65 percent of the delegate vote. U.S. Rep. Jared Polis of Boulder also made the ballot with 32.85 percent. A third candidate, Erik Underwood, failed to get the 30 percent needed to make the ballot.

“Thank you to all of the Democrats in Colorado who gave up their Saturday to participate in this important, grassroots process,” Kennedy said in a statement. “I am so grateful to the delegates who supported me today and throughout the caucus process. This grassroots momentum is going to take me to victory in June and November.”

The 1STBANK Center is pictured during the 2018 Colorado Democratic State Assembly in Broomfield on April 14, 2018. Photo by Andy Colwell for the Gazette
The 1STBANK Center is pictured during the 2018 Colorado Democratic State Assembly in Broomfield on April 14, 2018. Photo by Andy Colwell for the Gazette 

Kennedy and Polis could be joined on the ballot by Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne, who is awaiting certification of petitions she submitted to the Secretary of State’s Office last month. Former state Sen. Michael Johnston of Denver has already been certified for the ballot.

Kennedy’s win follows her top finish at the party’s March 9 caucuses, where she won 50 percent of the vote. Polis took 32.5 percent.

While voting went on in the main hall, Kennedy said it was exciting to see the support from all over the state.

“This campaign builds momentum every day,” she said.

Kennedy plans to reach out to Democrats who voted for Trump in 2016. Those voters will look for the candidate “who lays out a vision to address the challenges we face. Our (economic) progress isn’t reaching everyone,” including Pueblo and rural Colorado, areas which swung red in the last presidential election, she said.

In the race for treasurer, state Rep. Dave Young of Greeley took top line with 52.16 percent; Bernard Douthit also will be on the primary ballot with 31.5 percent.

Two candidates also made the primary ballot for attorney general. Phil Weiser won the most votes, with 52.87 percent; Rep. Joe Salazar of Thornton took 36.58 percent. Amy Padden failed to make the primary ballot through the assembly with 10.54 percent of the vote.

However, Padden is attempting to get onto the ballot through the petition process. Candidates who go through the assembly must get at least 10 percent of the vote if they do both. Her petitions have not been verified yet by the Secretary of State’s Office.

The race for secretary of state is now down to two candidates: the incumbent, Republican Wayne Williams, and Democrat Jena Griswold. Griswold won in a landslide over Phillip Villard. Griswold took 98.44 percent of the vote.

The last race, for regent at large for the University of Colorado, had only one Democratic candidate: Lesley Smith.

Polis’ campaign released a statement after the results were announced, noting that he also turned in 33,000 petition signatures to make the ballot. He’s the only gubernatorial candidate to go through both the assembly and the petition process.

His biggest applause Saturday came when he said he had cast a vote to impeach President Donald Trump.

“I will be ready to go toe-to-toe with Donald Trump,” he pledged. “I will be proud to be the first openly gay governor in the United States. Take that, Mike Pence.”

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