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Politics and Government

Colorado could elect its first transgender person to the legislature as four razor-thin state House races teeter

If Democrat Brianna Titone is elected in her Arvada-based district, she would be the first transgender person elected to the Colorado General Assembly

Democrat Brianna Titone, right, Colorado's first transgender candidate for state representative, speaks to a crowd at a protest on the west steps of the Colorado Capitol in Denver, Nov 8, 2018. (Marvin Anani, Special to The Colorado Sun)
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Four races for the Colorado House remain teetering along razor-thin margins on Friday as some votes are still being counted, including one contest that could result in the first transgender person being elected to the legislature. 

Right now, Democrats are holding solid leads in three of them.

Here are those contests and where they stand as of Friday morning:

  • In the Arvada area, Democrat Brianna Titone — a transgender woman — was leading Republican Vicki Pyne by about 200 votes as of 7:30 a.m. Friday. The pair are running for an open seat.
  • In Greeley, Democrat Rochelle Galindo was holding a lead of about 1,500 votes over Republican Michael Thuener as of 7:30 a.m. Friday. The pair are running for an open seat vacated by Rep. Dave Young, who was elected Colorado’s treasurer on Tuesday. He had been the only Democrat to hold elective office in Weld County. Colorado House Democrats on Thursday were calling the race in Galindo’s favor. 
  • In southeast Colorado’s District 47, Democrat Bri Buentello was leading Republican Don Bendell by about 50 votes at 7:30 a.m. Friday. Bendell beat out incumbent GOP Rep. Judy Reyher in their primary over the summer. 
  • In Arapahoe County, Republican Rep. Susan Beckman was leading Democrat Chris Kolker by about 500 votes as of 7:30 a.m. Friday.

It may be days before voters know the final results in the contests, especially if a recount is requested or triggered under Colorado law. A recount is mandatory when the number of votes separating the top two candidates is 0.5 percent or less than the total number of votes cast for the leading candidate.

That’s complicated, we know. So here’s another way to think about it: If candidate X has 10 votes and candidate Y has eight votes, the difference between the candidates is two votes, or 20 percent, so no mandatory recount. 

Democrats already hold a large majority in the Colorado House, but Republicans are hoping to land at least some of these seats before all is said and done to close the gap. 

House Democrats are feeling confident about at least three of the four close races, inviting the candidates from those districts to join their leadership elections at the Capitol on Thursday.

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