The stage is set for what’s expected to be a pivotal general election for the Centennial State come November after voters selected the challengers for governor, one of Colorado’s U.S Senate seats, and secretary of state in the state’s 2022 Democratic and Republic primary elections. All eyes were on the Republican ticket; nearly every Democratic incumbent ran unopposed this year, making for a largely uneventful night for Democrats.

Nearly 972,188 voters across the state had cast their ballots as of 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, a 26 percent turnout—of eligible voters—according to the Secretary of State’s office. That’s down from a turnout of 45.4 percent in the 2020 primary, in which voters had the opportunity to cast a ballot for presidential candidates. While ballots will continue to be counted into the night, here are some key takeaways.

Last updated: Tuesday, June 28, at 10:15 p.m.

Joe O’Dea to Challenge Michael Bennet for a U.S. Senate Seat

Joe O’Dea beat state Representative Ron Hanks with roughly 57 percent of the vote to claim the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate and will face incumbent Michael Bennet in the general election. O’Dea is a businessman and first-time candidate and, unlike his opponent, appealed to more moderate Republican voters in hopes of becoming the first member of the GOP since 2014 to be elected to a major statewide office.

Heidi Ganahl wins GOP Gubernatorial Primary

With roughly 55 percent of the vote tallied, University of Colorado regent Heidi Ganahl will be the GOP gubernatorial candidate in Colorado, beating out former Parker mayor Greg Lopez from the crowded pool of fellow Republican candidates vying to unseat Democratic Governor Jared Polis in the general election. Ganahl is currently the only Republican to hold statewide office in Colorado, and has championed causes such as lowering the cost of living, increasing support for police departments, and opposing abortion in most cases.

Lauren Boebert to represent the GOP in 3rd District Race after controversial first term

U.S. Representative Lauren Boebert defeated Colorado state Senator and challenger Don Coram in Colorado’s 3rd district Republican primary with 63.75 percent of the vote. A staunch Second Amendment advocate and 2020 presidential election denier, Boebert became one of the most polarizing GOP figures in the state’s recent history during her first term in Congress. In November, she will face Democratic candidate and former Aspen City Councilman Adam Frisch, who had secured roughly 43.8 percent of the votes in the Democratic primary on Tuesday night.

Pam Anderson Beats Tina Peters for Republican Secretary of State Nomination

Former Jefferson County clerk Pam Anderson won the GOP nomination for secretary of state over Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, who recently has been indicted on several felony and misdemeanor charges for breaches of election security. Anderson will face current Democratic Secretary of State Jena Griswold.

8th Congressional District

Democratic state Representative Yadira Caraveo and Republican state Senator Barbara Kirkmeyer are expected to face off for a seat from Colorado’s newly drawn 8th congressional district. The race will be closely watched come November, with control of the U.S. House up for grabs, and the new district seat having been flagged as a toss-up. Caraveo, a pediatrician and second-term state representative from Thornton, ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination. Kirkmeyer—who’s known for her two stints as Weld County commissioner and vocal role in the county’s brief attempt to leave the state—had a wide lead on Tuesday night over Thornton Mayor Jan Kulmann, Weld County Commissioner Lori Saine, and military veteran Tyler Allcorn.

Madi Skahill
Madi Skahill
Madi Skahill is 5280’s former associate digital editor.