Denver, CO –– In its first election cycle recruiting, endorsing, and supporting independent candidates for the Colorado state legislature, Unite Colorado established the foundation for a strong and sustainable movement to challenge the two-party hold on power in Denver.
“After 164 years of Democrats and Republicans running virtually unopposed, independent candidates mounted the strongest challenge to the two-party duopoly in Colorado history this election,” said Unite Colorado Executive Director Nick Troiano. “Credible competition and a demand for representation from the state’s largest and fastest voting bloc has now become the new normal. This movement will only grow more powerful in the years to come.”
While falling narrowly short of its stated goal of electing at least one independent candidate to the legislature this cycle, several data points point to momentum for the movement to offer Colorado voters an option on their ballot that puts people over party:
- Independent candidate Paul Jones (HD-59) ran the most competitive campaign for State House in over 100 years – garnering 44% of the vote, despite being attacked by over $150,000 in negative advertising from a network of Super PACs funded by corporations, unions, and other special interest groups;
- Nine independent candidates ran for state legislature in 2018, the most in any recent election cycle. Five of these candidates were endorsed by Unite Colorado, representing the first-ever organized slate of independent candidates who ran with a set of shared principles;
- Independent candidates in 2018 collectively won more votes (45,212 as of current reporting) than independent candidates have won in the past seven election cycles combined (2004-2016);
- Since January 1st, active voter registration among independent voters grew by 139,613 (12.2%) while Republicans shrunk by 48,267 (4.6%) and Democrats fell by 11,259 (1.1%), according to the Colorado Secretary of State;
- In January, State Senator Cheri Jahn became the first State Senator in Colorado history to serve as an independent.
“With the leadership and team we’ve recruited, the volunteers we’ve organized, the data we’ve accumulated, and the lessons we’ve learned, Unite Colorado will begin next cycle in a much stronger position than we began just 18 months ago,” Troiano added. “Neither single-party control of Denver nor continued partisan polarization serves Coloradans well, so we remain as committed as ever to our mission of supporting independent leaders who serve the people – not the political parties or the special interests.”
Unite Colorado strategically recruits and supports independent candidates for office. For more information, visit www.UniteColorado.org.