ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — Inching toward 10 p.m. Tuesday night, the margin of Colorado’s most expensive district attorney race hovered at less than one point.
After taking an early lead over her opponent, Republican John Kellner in the 18th Judicial District, Democratic candidate Amy Padden’s edge narrowed to barely over 50% compared to Kellner’s 49.81% as of 9:45 p.m. She has run on a platform of prosecution reform in a district that has tended to elect Republican district attorneys.
The district’s next DA inherits a diverse, heavily populated district. Covering Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln Counties, the 18th District has about a fifth of Colorado’s total population. Some of the country’s most high-profile crimes of the past few decades have occurred in the district, including the 2012 Aurora theater massacre and last year’s shooting at a STEM school in Highlands Ranch.
In an interview Tuesday evening, Padden said she believes the summer’s attention on fatalities at the hands of police has increased interest in DA elections. She added she believes historically people have tended to view DAs as law-and-order roles and voted conservatively.
RELATED: Voters reject 1 judge for retention
SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Politics