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Denver Public Schools board member Tay Anderson (left) and criminal justice activist Elisabeth Epps address a large crowd of demonstrators during a Black Lives Matter march outside of East High School in Denver, June 7, 2020. (Kevin Mohatt, Special to The Colorado Sun)

Criminal justice activist Elisabeth Epps beat Katie March in the fiercely contested Democratic primary in Colorado House District 6 that was seen as a tug of war over the direction of Democrats in the legislature. 

March, a former legislative aide, said she conceded to Epps on Thursday.

Epps, a former public defender who leads an organization that helps pay bail for people in jail, ultimately won by about 4 percentage points in a race that was separated by just a few dozen votes on election night as ballots were still being counted. 

House District 6 is in central Denver. It leans heavily in Democrats’ favor, meaning Epps, who was endorsed by the Denver chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, is almost certain to win the November general election.

“I can’t wait to get to work for HD6,” Epps said in a written statement Thursday.

The Democratic House District 6 contest was the most expensive legislative primary of 2022. 

March spent more than $161,000, while Epps spent nearly $127,000. 

Outside groups were the big spenders in the race, dropping close to $467,000, with $221,000 supporting March, $142,000 supporting Epps and $104,000 opposing Epps.