Two new seats on the State Board of Education that oversees Colorado’s education policy are so far going to Democrats, which would give the nine-member board a 6 to 3 Democratic majority. Previously, the seven-member board had four Democrats and three Republicans.
Which candidates are leading as of Wednesday
For the new at-large seat, former Adams 12 school board president Kathy Plomer, a Democrat, stands at 52 percent of the votes to 44 percent against Republican challenger Dan Maloit, a St. Vrain parent advocate for schools opening during the pandemic. The vote tallies are preliminary and the race has not yet been called by the Associated Press, the standard by which CPR News reports race calls.
Plomer said she will advocate for schools to get the resources they need and will champion the idea that public schools are central to communities and democracy.
“I see strong public schools as places of innovation and discourse where students explore, discuss, and respectfully debate ideas; examine our complex history; delve into science; and learn to identify and combat disinformation,” she said. “Our students need to be informed, critical thinkers to be our next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs and citizens.”
In the new 8th Congressional district spanning Weld and Adams counties, Democrat Rhonda Solis, a former Greeley-Evans school board member, appears to have nudged out Republican Peggy Propst, a former state school board member. Preliminary results show Solis up by about 4,000 votes, a lead of less than 3 percentage points. Solis, a Latina community advocate, will become the first person of color on the current board. About 35 percent of the state’s students are Hispanic.
In the 6th Congressional District, representing much of the eastern part of metro Denver, including all of Aurora, incumbent Rebecca McClellan has a commanding lead against Republican challenger and Cherry Creek parent Molly Lamar, 59 percent to 41 percent in the preliminary count.
In the 5th Congressional District, representing Colorado Springs and its suburbs, incumbent Republican Steve J. Durham is coasting to a second term with 58 percent of the vote compared to 42 percent for his Democratic challenger Joseph Shelton. Durham, who served as a state legislator in the 1970s and ’80s, has been a vocal advocate for school choice and holding underperforming school districts accountable.