King leading in Jeffco and Gilpin county DA’s race

Office likely changing into Democratic hands after extended GOP control

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The First Judicial District Attorney’s Office will likely be switching hands.

With 99% of the vote now in as of Wednesday morning, Democrat Alexis King leads Deputy District Attorney Matt Durkin 54.9% to 45.1%.

If that result holds, King will lead the office where she served as a deputy DA from 2007 to 2017. However, her arrival could also signal a significant change of approach for the office as King has promised to bring a reform-minded direction to an office that has been led by Republican DA Pete Weir, who endorsed Durkin along with Republican Sheriff Jeff Shrader.

During the campaign, King emphasized not only her background serving in the District Attorney’s but also as a magistrate in Denver and most recently an attorney focusing on advocating for sexual assault victims.

King has said she has is running to “increase bail bond reform efforts to make sure we aren’t over-incarcerating folks and have better answers and solutions for them, to create a pre-file diversion program so that not every person has to go through the courthouse and to increase transparency so we can be very honest as public servants about our efforts and whether people are being treated the same or differently based on their identity in the criminal justice system.”

King said she was “thrilled” with how Jeffco voted in the race.

“I was told a long time ago never to underestimate Jeffco’s interest in electing capable women and qualified women and I think that has held through tonight,” said King.

King said she was particularly proud of the ground game her team had implemented amidst COVID-19.

“We did 23,000 phone calls in the primary, we did 35,000 phone calls in the general and really made an effort to reach out to voters in a safe way and have real honest conversations and frankly educating a lot on the role of the DA’s office in their community and I am really proud of that,” she said.

Durkin, meanwhile, had touted his experience as Chief Deputy DA and desire to address the addiction crisis plaguing Jeffco.

When the first returns came in at 7 p.m. showing King with a 10% point lead with 90% of the vote in, Durkin said he was not ready to concede. He said he would reevaluate at 9 p.m., but has not yet been reached for an update by Colorado Community Media.

“Obviously the returns aren’t what we had hoped for at this stage,” Durkin said at 7:30 p.m. “Still, we are going to wait for the next numbers to come in at 9:00 to make a decision about where we are so we are holding onto hope for the moment.”

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