DENVER (AP) — Colorado Democratic state Rep. Yadira Caraveo has defeated Republican state Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer in a tight race to win a U.S. House seat in a new district that stretches north of Denver’s suburbs.
The Associated Press called the race in Colorado’s 8th Congressional District on Tuesday, although Caraveo claimed victory and Kirkmeyer conceded after voting ended on election night on Nov. 8. The swing district, evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, was created during the once-a-decade redistricting process to reflect Colorado’s growing population.
Caraveo said in a statement last week claiming victory: “It’s the honor of my lifetime to receive this vote of confidence to serve working families from Greeley to Commerce City in Washington, D.C.”
Caraveo is a pediatrician and defender of abortion rights who voted for police accountability after protests that followed the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd. Caraveo hoped her cultural lineage as the child of Mexican immigrants would attract support in a swing district where Latinos comprise nearly 40% of voters.
Kirkmeyer, a former Weld County commissioner, pledged to get tough on crime and unleash the oil and gas industry, which has a significant presence in the district. She once supported a blanket ban on abortion but now says she would respect exceptions if the mother’s life is in danger.
“While this is not the outcome we hoped for,” Kirkmeyer wrote on Twitter announcing her defeat, “I am proud of our team and our campaign.”
Jesse Bedayn is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.
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