Brighton Democrat waiting for full vote count before conceding House race

The Democratic state House candidate from Brighton who withdrew his concession the day after the election — citing uncounted provisional ballots — said he was hopeful but also expected “the worst” on Wednesday as election officials began sorting through the uncounted ballots.

Dave Rose made headlines a week ago when he withdrew his concession in the House District 30 race against Republican Kevin Priola — pointing to as many as 11,000 provisional ballots countywide, which he hoped would erase a 576-vote deficit. “I’m not by any means ready to concede,” Rose told the Brighton Blade the morning after the election.

As the Adams County clerk’s office released figures showing only dozens of provisional ballots might be counted in the House District race, Rose said on Wednesday he still hadn’t conceded but didn’t expect the tally to turn his way.

“I doubt it’s going to change things,” Rose told the Colorado Independent, “but you want to make sure every voter has a chance to make their vote count.”

Priola, who leads in the preliminary vote 11,710 to 11,134, claimed victory and caucused with House Republicans on Thursday to elect the party’s leadership.

Rose said he hasn’t spoken with Priola since the election but has exchanged messages. He said he plans to wait until next week when Adams County has to post its official count, but would contact Priola with a concession if that’s where the votes land.

While he plans to keep his day job as principal at Northeast Elementary School in Brighton, the Democrat also said he might seek an appointed government post if he doesn’t win the election. “Politics is my passion,” Rose said.

In another close legislative race, Democrat Linda Newell leads Republican Lauri Clapp by 104 votes out of 59,638 votes cast in Senate District 26, according to figures posted Tuesday on the Arapahoe County Web site.

Clapp, who has consistently trailed Newell by a slim margin in the vote count, also caucused with Republicans last week. Newell attended lawmaker orientation at the Capitol last week too.

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Ernest Luning

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