Jillian Likness
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Jillian Likness said she is withdrawing from the Colorado House District 18 race for health reasons.

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Barely a week after winning the Republican nomination in the race for Colorado’s House District 18, Jillian Likness said Friday that she is withdrawing from the November election.

“Due to the demands and my current health condition, I do not feel that I can give my district 100 percent to win this seat,” Likness said in a statement.

“I am extremely saddened by this decision and it was not made easily; but I will support the Republican nominee that will be selected at the upcoming vacancy committee meeting.”

Likness could not immediately be reached for comment. She was set to run against Democrat Marc Snyder, who won his party’s nomination with about 54 percent of the more than 7,000 votes cast in the June 26 primary.

Precinct leaders have 15 days to fill Likness’ spot, said Cassandra Sebastian, executive director of El Paso County’s Republican Party. In that time, anyone interested in running can throw their hat into the ring.

Instructions on how to do that will be released soon, she said. Potential candidates will each address the district’s vacancy committee.

“They’ll have 2 to 3 minutes to speak as a candidate before a vote, sometimes you’ll have a runoff vote,” Sebastian said.

A majority of votes from the precinct leaders will then decide the next Republican nomination.

“That new person will be our candidate and the party as a whole will support that candidate 110 percent,” Sebastian said.

The House District 18 seat is being vacated by Rep. Pete Lee, D-Colorado Springs, who is running for the Colorado Senate District 11 seat left empty by retiring Democrat Mike Merrifield.

Maile Foster, an independent backed by Unite Colorado and Unite America, nonprofits formally known as the Centrist Project, is also vying for the House District 18 seat. She is seeking to petition on to the general election ballot and has until Thursday to gather 400 signatures.

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