With nearly 30% of the vote tallied, Democrat Joe Neguse, who was seeking a third term in Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District, surged ahead of Republican Marshall Dawson Tuesday night.
Neguse had 73.2% of the total, or 101,311 votes, compared to Dawson’s 25.2%, or 34,987 votes.
Independent candidates Steve Yurash, Gary Nation and Tim Wolf each had less than 1% of the vote.
Results: See the full list of Colorado election results here
During his time representing the Democratic stronghold, Neguse said he and his staff have been “laser-focused” on helping Colorado communities recover from the devastating wildfires that have struck in the past two to three years. The state’s three largest wildfires on record were in Neuguse’s district as was the most destructive, the Marshall fire, which destroyed more than 1,000 homes and killed two people in December 2021.
Neguse is co-chair of the congressional Bipartisan Wildfire Caucus and is on the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.
On the campaign trail, the incumbent has heard from people struggling to make ends meet in the face of high inflation and has defended the Biden administration against Republican attacks that big spending has caused prices to soar. Health care costs are among the drivers of inflation and Congress has passed legislation lowering Medicare prescription drug costs and caps the cost of insulin, Neguse said.
“There’s more we must do. We have proposed a series of steps at the federal level, both in terms of regulatory reforms, antitrust actions in terms of the concentration in the marketplace in a variety of different industries that have led to rising prices,” Neguse said. “As I visit with constituents they are primarily focused on wanting to hear about solutions.”
The incumbent has concentrated on preventing gun violence. He was a co-sponsor of a bill on background checks for gun buyers and a bill to ban assault weapons, the kind of firearm used to kill 10 people in a Boulder King Soopers store in March 2021.
Neguse, whose parents immigrated from Eritrea more than 40 years ago, is Colorado’s first Black member of Congress. He is an attorney who served as a University of Colorado regent and in former Gov. John Hickenlooper’s cabinet.
Dawson, the Republican candidate and a Longmont resident, said the differences between him and Neguse “are pretty stark.”
“I think with Joe Neguse you get somebody who believes in big government, who believes in top-down control of everything,” Dawson said. “It’s people in our towns and counties, people in the state of Colorado who know best how to live our lives and how to make the best decisions for us.”
Dawson said he has heard from people who are hurting from the high prices and inflation.
“We can look at the current leadership in Congress and at the executive level and see that we have a spending problem,” Dawson said.
The Kentucky native and high-tech engineer said the federal government should slow or cut the rate of spending.
On abortion, Dawson believes the states, not Congress, should decide how to proceed. He doesn’t think Coloradans will support the kind of restrictions recently enacted by other states but thinks they might favor more limits than the current state law includes.
While Neguse and Dawson are in the race to win, unaffiliated candidate Steve Yurash would at least like to get 5% of the vote. If he does, the Center Party, which he represents, would gain minor-party status and members wouldn’t have to petition onto the ballot.
Yurash, who lives in Fort Collins, started the Colorado Center Party in May 2021 after retiring from the Intel Corp. He and other members held a convention and nominated candidates. Yurash was the only one to successfully petition onto the statewide ballot.
“I just don’t think two major parties represent the majority of the voters,” Yurash said.
A priority for the Center Party is to cut federal spending.
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