By Mike McKibbin
Three contested Democratic races were decided by voters in the Neighborhood Gazette circulation area during the June 26 statewide primary election.
In Senate District 34 (includes parts or all of Denver, Sloan’s Lake, Berkeley and the West Colfax corridor between Sheridan and Federal boulevards), Julie Gonzales easily defeated her two primary opponents, Alan Kennedy-Shaffer and Milo Schwab. Gonzales received nearly 64 percent support, or 14,763 votes. Schwab had just under 20 percent, or 4,569, while Kennedy-Shaffer received more than 16 percent, or 3,813 votes.
Gonzales, policy director for the Meyer Law Office in Denver, will face Republican candidate Gordon Alley in the Nov. 6 general election. Alley, who did not have a primary opponent, is an associate pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church. His sister, Kristina Joy Alley, is the Republican candidate for Colorado House District 28.
The current District 34 officeholder is state Sen. Lucia Guzman (D), the assistant minority leader. State senators are limited to two consecutive four-year terms and Guzman cannot seek reelection.
In House District 24 (includes all or parts of Wheat Ridge, Edgewater, Arvada, Lakewood, Golden, Lakeside, Mountain View and unincorporated Jefferson County communities of Applewood, Fairmount and West Pleasant View), Monica Duran defeated Kris Teegardin by a 55-45 percent margin, or 6,617-5,513 votes. Duran, a current Wheat Ridge City Council member, will face Republican Arthur Erwin in November.
Erwin lives in Golden and his website noted he is the human resource director at a major local auto dealership where he has worked for nearly 30 years.
The seat is currently held by state Rep. Jessie Danielson, (D). State representatives can serve no more than four consecutive two-year terms. Danielson was first elected to the position in 2014 and won reelection two years later. She is not seeking another term.
In House District 4 (includes all or part of the West Colfax corridor between Sheridan and Federal, Denver North and West neighborhoods of the Highlands, Villa Park, Sloan’s Lake, Barnum, Berkeley, Sunnyside and Sun Valley), Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez won a three-way race over Amy W. Beatie and Ed Britt. Gonzales-Gutierrez garnered 58 percent, or 7,695 votes, while Beatie had 33 percent, or 4,338, and Britt 9 percent, or 1,180 votes.
Gonzales-Guiterrez will face Republican Robert “Dave” John in the general election. John, who did not have a primary opponent, has filed campaign finance reports with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office that show he has not received nor spent any money this year. At this time, he does not appear to have an online presence.
The seat is currently held by state Rep. Dan Pabon, (D), who cannot run for reelection.
In Colorado, all 65 House seats are up for election every two years. In the state Senate, 17 out of 35 seats are on the ballot this year. While Democrats expanded their state House majority from 34-31 in 2014 to 37-28 in 2016, Republicans won control of the state Senate in 2014 by an 18-17 majority. In 2016, Republicans maintained that slim margin, so Democrats need to gain one seat to take control of the Senate. The same seats that were up for election in 2014 are on the ballot this year.