Polis, Stapleton win party races for governor seat

Samantha Ye

The primary elections are over, and the party candidates have been chosen.  

With over 1 million ballots cast, this primary showed a significant turnout, likely due to the influence of unaffiliated voter participation.


In Larimer County alone, 78,450 ballots were cast out of 223,272 active voters, marking a participation rate of over 35 percent. 

The last non-presidential election year, 2014, had a primary active voter turnout of 21 percent.

Based on the votes for governor, over 45,000 ballots and 32,000 ballots were cast for the Democratic Party and Republican Party, respectively.  

Final primary results are below, though as of 10 a.m. Wednesday, three counties are technically still reporting their results.


In one of the most crowded gubernatorial races in recent years, U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (Democrat) and Colorado state treasurer Walker Stapleton (Republican) pulled clear victories to represent their respective parties.

Polis came in with 44.7 percent of votes, defeating previous state treasurer Cary Kennedy, former state Rep. Mike Johnston and Colorado Lt.Gov Donna Lynne.

Larimer County, part of the district Polis represents in Congress, voted for Polis at a rate of nearly 62 percent.

Stapleton won the Republican primary with 47.9 percent of the vote. In Larimer County, Stapleton won the majority at nearly 53 percent. The distant relative of former President George W. Bush defeated three opponents: former Parker Mayor Greg Lopez, businessmen Doug Robinson and Victor Mitchell.

Come November, Stapleton and Polis will be competing against each other in the general elections.

State Treasurer

State Rep. Dave Young will be the Democratic candidate. The former educator won over two-thirds of the vote (68.2 percent) over opponent businessman Bernard Douthit.


The Republican side had a much closer race, but Brian Watson gained a slight advantage early in the night and held it to the end. The real estate CEO won with 38 percent of the vote, less than 5,000 votes over runner up, state Rep. Justin Everett. Watson also defeated state Rep. Polly Lawrence.

Attorney General

The race, contested only on the Democrat side, was tight. Phil Weiser defeated state Rep. Joe Salazar by less than 9,000 votes, less than 2 percent. Weiser, who is currently a professor at the University of Colorado’s law school, will face Republican George Brauchler in the general election.

House Representative for District 2

Of the two Democrats vying to replace Polis’ vacant seat, party favorite Joe Neguse dominated with two-thirds of the vote. He defeated opponent Mark Williams, who had positioned himself as an independent democrat. Neguse was former director of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies and will face Republican Peter Yu in the general election.

Larimer County Commissioner

Sean Dougherty defeated Chalon Kintzley in the Republican race for commissioner. Dougherty ended the night with 56.7 percent of the votes.

With his years of experience on the Larimer County Planning Commission and Fort Collins Chamber of Commerce, Dougherty will face Democrat John Kefalas in the general election.

Collegian reporter Samantha Ye can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @samxye4.