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18th Judicial district attorney race likely headed to recount

Republican John Kellner leads Democrat Amy Padden by 1,418 votes in the race to succeed District Attorney George Brauchler.
Credit: Facebook via Colorado Politics
Republican John Kellner, left, and Democrat Amy Padden, who are looking to succeed term-limited District Attorney George Brauchler in Colorado’s 18th Judicial District.

COLORADO, USA — The election for district attorney for the 18th Judicial District seemed to be headed to a recount on Monday as only 1,418 votes separated the two candidates.

Republican John Kellner was leading Democrat Amy Padden in the race to succeed George Brauchler, a Republican who was first elected district attorney in 2012 for the district that includes Arapahoe, Douglas, Lincoln and Elbert counties.

As of Monday afternoon, Kellner had 287,436 votes to Padden’s 286,018 votes.

According to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, a mandatory recount is triggered if the vote difference between the candidates is less than or equal to 1/2 of 1% of the highest vote cast.

Kellner, who has been chief deputy district attorney under Brauchler since 2013, acknowledged the race was inside the margin for a recount but said on Facebook that he was confident that the election results were accurate.

“So now I’m going to turn my focus to serving the people of the 18th Judicial District and keeping our community safe,” he said in the Facebook post.

Padden, a deputy district attorney for the 11th Judicial District, which includes Park, Chaffee, Fremont and Custer counties, said in a statement that she is committed to seeing the recount process through to the end to make sure every vote is counted.

She pointed out that she received the most votes in Arapahoe County (194,133 to 141,044 votes), which will be the only county in the 18th Judicial District by the 2024 election. Douglas, Lincoln and Elbert will be split into a new 23rd Judicial District in January 2025.

“Regardless of the final outcome of this election, we have paved the way for the 18th Judicial District to have a Democratic DA in January of 2025,” Padden said.

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