Jun 30, 2022 - News

Elisabeth Epps wins Democratic primary in Denver

Elisabeth Epps during her election watch party on June 28, in Denver. Photo: Esteban L. Hernandez/Axios

Attorney and abolitionist Elisabeth Epps defeated Katie March in the Democratic primary for a state House seat representing Denver, with the AP calling the race Thursday morning.

By the numbers: The most recently available preliminary figures showed Epps leading by 373 votes, or 51.28% of votes.

Why it matters: Epps' victory gives progressive Democrats a chance at pushing more left-leaning policies at the state Capitol, and shows grassroots campaigns are still very much viable in the city.

  • Epps has publicly called on abolishing the police, and her victory suggests that voters in Denver — many of whom are concerned about rising crime — did not see this stance as a liability.
  • She runs a nonprofit providing cash bail, and is known in Denver for her criminal justice advocacy; she was one of 12 plaintiffs whom a jury awarded $14 million in damages to this year over how Denver police responded during the 2020 George Floyd protests.
  • Epps was endorsed by the Denver Democratic Socialists of America chapter, a political and activist organization.

Her victory essentially ensures she will represent the city at the General Assembly, as her Republican challenger, Donald D. Howell, is unlikely to make much noise in the heavily Democratic district.


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