One week after Election Day, Ken Gordon conceded the race for Secretary of State to Republican Mike Coffman today. Votes are still being tallied in Denver County, but not enough remain to allow Gordon to close the gap. According to an unofficial Association Press count, Coffman has a 21,000-vote lead, while only 13,000 ballots remain uncounted. In a concession letter, Gordon said he and Coffman will work on election problems together:
“Mike Coffman and I have already discussed working on election issues together. I think it will be a good thing for the confidence of voters that election issues be handled in a bipartisan manner.”
An unknown number of would-be voters in Denver didn’t cast their ballots on Election Day, and Gordon said there’s no way to know if their votes would have made a difference.
“The election day problems in Denver were disturbing,” he said. “Thousands of people who intended to vote were not able to. I don’t know if these problems were enough to affect the outcome of the race.”
The full text of Gordon’s letter follows.
The Associated Press called yesterday and said that there weren’t enough votes left to change the outcome of the race. It appears that Mike Coffman will be Colorado’s next Secretary of State.
We have nothing to be ashamed of. We got more than 49 percent of the votes. Mike has been elected statewide on two previous occasions and had gotten quite a bit of deserved attention for going to Iraq. He was a formidable opponent.
We ran an honorable campaign. We did not accept campaign contributions from special interest political action committees, and we engaged in no negative campaigning. The only time we mentioned our opponent was to say something positive about him in a letter on my website.
My campaign staff worked hard and remained focused. Zach Zaslow showed a maturity beyond his years. Brent Parrish helped us raise more money than had ever previously been raised in a comparable race. Erika Jensen and Maureen Beach worked long hours, were always cheerful and never complained about a job that allowed for almost no personal time.
Volunteers were too numerous to mention. I would like to point out the work of Ben Marter, Cary Lacklen, Carol Peeples, Art Prostkoff, Nicole Hanlen, Jim Joy, Paul Rosenthal, Delores Derrickson, Clarice Shepherd, Kate Breslin, Dave Childs, Miranda Paley, Sean Gilmore and Ray Ehrenstein. Ken Smith was the creative force behind many of the best things we did in the campaign.
The election day problems in Denver were disturbing. Thousands of people who intended to vote were not able to. I don’t know if these problems were enough to affect the outcome of the race.
The Senate Democratic Caucus has honored me by electing me to be the Majority Leader for the next two years. That is a place where I will be able to work on election issues, as well as other interests such as protecting the environment and education.
Mike Coffman and I have already discussed working on election issues together. I think it will be a good thing for the confidence of voters that election issues be handled in a bipartisan manner.
Thanks to all of you for your help. During the campaign season, when I was physically or emotionally tired, the thought of all the people who had contributed work or money to the campaign inspired me to continue my efforts.
The last thing I want to say is this: A campaign is several hundred days long. Because of its nature people tend to judge the campaign by the ultimate result. Was it a win or a loss? I think this is too narrow a way to look at it. Every day we talked to people about democracy, about increasing the influence of people and reducing the influence of money, about the importance of participation. Who knows what shores the ripples of this campaign will ultimately strike and what effect they will have? I am not done with my public life, and the young people who participated in the campaign will also be active for years to come. None of us have become cynical. We are all still optimistic and idealistic. When all is said and done, I’m proud of the campaign. I believe we did something good.