Democratic newcomer Jason Crow was on his way to becoming the new U.S. representative for the 6th Congressional District after scoring about a 9 percentage-point lead over Republican incumbent Mike Coffman — about 53 percent to 44.5 percent — as of about 9:15 p.m. on Election Night, with about 200,000 votes counted in the race.
In the race that broke the five-term congressman's hold on the widely diverse district, Crow looked to sow unity in his victory speech.
"To be very clear, Mike Coffman and his supporters are not our enemies," said Crow, who thanked Coffman and called him a hard worker who served his country well. "This is politics, not war. I will never stop trying to find common ground where I can.”
Public-school students speak more than 160 languages in the district's anchor, Aurora, a place where voters strongly favor Democrats. Both candidates call the city home. Crow touched on diversity in his address, calling it an attribute that makes the country strong.
"Americans value and celebrate our diversity," Crow said. "We are more than just a melting pot of cultures — we are a vibrant melting pot of ideas.”
Coffman faced a strong challenge from Crow, an attorney and military veteran. The Cook Political Report, a prominent, nonpartisan newsletter that analyzes elections, listed the district as one of 30 toss-ups in the country — and the only one in Colorado — in September. As of Nov. 5, it had pegged the race as one that leans Democratic.
The question on the national radar was if 2018 is the year the district would finally flip blue, given its demographic makeup. The Democrats' national chances of taking control of the U.S. House were expected to be reflected in this race's outcome, local pundits have said.
In addition to Aurora, the district includes south suburbs like Centennial, Littleton and Highlands Ranch, which are strongly Republican, and to the north, Brighton and part of Thornton, which are part of decidedly blue Adams County. Aurora accounts for about 44 percent of the district's roughly 815,000 people.
Coffman, a military veteran who grew up in the heart of Aurora, had persisted against well-known Democratic challengers in previous elections. He won the seat in 2008 and has been re-elected four times.
Coffman could not immediately be reached for comment.
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