Unaffiliated candidate Curry concedes after vote recount
November 17, 2010
DENVER – Colorado’s tumultuous election isn’t over yet, even though state Rep. Kathleen Curry conceded Wednesday following a hand recount that left her about 300 votes shy of those needed to retain her state House seat.
Still to be decided is a state House race in Jefferson County that could overturn the balance of power in the Legislature.
Republicans claimed a 33-32 majority the day after the election, overturning six years of Democratic majorities. They nominated Rep. Frank McNulty to be their speaker, but that could change if a recount in state House District 29 gives Democratic incumbent Debbie Benefield the victory over Republican Robert Ramirez. Democrats kept control of the Senate with a 20-15 majority.
Election officials said the decision in the House race could come as early as Thursday after 687 uncounted ballots are audited and certified in an election where only 208 votes separate the candidates out of 24,778 votes counted. The deadline for reporting is Friday.
Metro State political science professor Norm Provizer said it’s unlikely Benefield can get enough votes to win, but she might be able to force an automatic recount if she gets within one half of one percent of the top vote-getter.
“It all comes down to one seat that still has votes outstanding,” Provizer said.
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Curry said she didn’t plan to challenge the outcome of her race, and that she was proud of her write-in campaign as an unaffiliated candidate and has no plans to rejoin the Democratic Party. She said she may run again for the seat in two years.
“This is just a temporary setback. As far as I’m concerned, my career is just starting,” Curry said.
Curry picked up only 303 votes in the recount after a judge ordered that 2,001 “undervotes” be inspected. The term refers to ballots where voters wrote in Curry’s name but didn’t mark the box next to it, or didn’t vote at all.
Democrat Roger Wilson won with 9,659 votes, followed by Curry with 9,350 and Republican Luke Korkowski with 8,988, according to unofficial vote totals that won’t be official until Nov. 26. That’s when they are certified by Secretary of State Bernie Buescher.
“I am gratified that the process has worked and that the voters’ choice is clear to all,” Wilson said after the totals were announced by clerks in Garfield, Gunnison, Pitkin, Eagle and Hinsdale counties.