Nov 10, 2022 - News

Republican Kirkmeyer concedes to Democrat Caraveo in 8th District race

Yadira Caraveo during a campaign stop in Greeley on Oct. 29. Photo: Esteban L. Hernandez/Axios Denver

Republican Barbara Kirkmeyer on Wednesday evening conceded to Democrat Yadira Caraveo in the 8th Congressional District race, one of Colorado’s most competitive midterm contests.

Why it matters: It marks the first time the state is expected to send a Latina to Congress and suggests her candidacy galvanized Latino voters in the district.

Driving the news: Caraveo led Kirkmeyer by 48.5% to 47.7% as of 6pm on Wednesday.

What to know: The new 8th District extends from the suburbs of Thornton and Northglenn through Greeley in Weld County. Nearly 40% of the district’s population is Latino.

  • While Colorado’s independent redistricting commission drew the district to be competitive, it favored Republicans.
  • National observers, including the Cook Political Report and FiveThirtyEight, had the race leaning Republican — with the latter giving Caraveo a 9% chance of winning.
  • Caraveo was positioned to win by securing a majority of votes in Adams County, home to the largest bloc of voters in the district.

Details: Caraveo, a state lawmaker and pediatrician, said her campaign knocked on nearly 300,000 doors in the district, demonstrating she was part of the community she hoped to represent.

  • Her campaign spread a message focusing on standing up for working families by lowering drug prescription drugs, taxes and making health care more accessible.

Zoom in: Caraveo's parents are from a town called Nicolás Bravo in Chihuahua, Mexico, and emigrated to the United States in the 1970s. She is bilingual.

  • She used her backstory to appeal to blue-collar workers in this working-class district, sharing how her father put her and her siblings through college on a construction worker's salary.

The other side: Kirkmeyer, a state senator and former Weld County commissioner, was able to win a plurality of votes in Weld and Larimer counties, though those areas had fewer voters than Adams County.

  • "While this is not the outcome we hoped for, I am proud of our team and our campaign," Kirkmeyer wrote on Twitter.
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