Democratic challenger Jason Crow has defeated Republican incumbent Rep. Mike Coffman to turn Colorado's 6th House District blue.
The district, which covers the eastern edge of the Denver metro area—including all of Aurora and parts of cities like Centennial, Highlands Ranch, Englewood, Parker and Brighton—has been inching more Democratic as the district's demographics have become more diverse in recent years.
This is the first time since the district was created in 1983 that a Democrat has won the seat.
Crow's victory was meant to be part of a "blue wave" trying to turn the U.S. House of Representatives over to Democratic control two years into President Donald Trump's presidency.
Crow thanked his supporters Tuesday night and told the crowd he was humbled to have been elected to the U.S. House. "It was a bold idea for someone who never ran for office before - but today we got it done," he said. "Thank you Coffman for a spirited, hard-fought campaign. We've had our differences but he's a hard worker and served his country honorably.
"To be clear, Mike Coffman and his supporters are not our enemies. This is politics, not war."
Crow campaigned on the idea that Coffman was a "yes man" to Trump, hammering the point that Coffman’s voting record sided with Trump 96 percent of the time. Crow, an attorney and ex-Army ranger, campaigned heavily on the idea that he would stand up to the president and do more to fix the ailing U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs.
During a 9NEWS debate between the candidates, Crow went after Coffman's record of generally siding with Trump when it came to legislation in Congress, as well as his acceptance of corporate PAC money.
Coffman unsuccessfully ran a campaign on fixing America's "broken" immigration system, requiring anyone receiving public assistance to be training or working, fixing the bureaucratic trouble at the VA and shaving off "bloated Pentagon bureaucracy," according to his campaign website.
During his concession speech, Coffman told his soon-to-be former constituents he was honored to serve them. "I embraced the diversity of this new district, worked to become a part of their communities... learned so much from these communities."
He partially blamed his loss on Trump. "I knew my only hope to win was to localize the race," he said. "As a referendum on my leadership, and if it was a nationalized referendum on the president, I could simply not win this race. In this race, it was a referendum on the president. The wave was too big for us to stay afloat."
While his 2014 and 2016 election wins were by nine and eight points respectively, Coffman's control of the district appeared in trouble by September, according to polling aggregate website FiveThirtyEight. While the site had Crow as a 68 percent favorite on Sept. 13, by the end of the week, Crow was an 82 percent favorite - and he never took his foot off the gas. A few days before the election, FiveThirtyEight had Crow as an 88 percent favorite to win the 6th District.
According to his campaign website, Crow enlisted in the National Guard and worked construction to pay for college. In college, he joined the Army and finished top of his class, serving in the 82nd Airborne Division after the 9/11 attacks. He led a platoon of paratroopers during the Iraq War and joined the 75th Ranger Regiment after returning from Iraq. He left the Army in 2006 and became a veteran's advocate. He is a partner in the Denver office of Holland & Hart, a law firm with offices throughout the U.S.