VOTE 2020: Democrat Padden holds razor edge lead in Arapahoe DA’s race; Mason winning in Adams County

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DA raceAdams CountyDouglas CountyArapahoe CountyDistrictwide
17th Judicial District Attorney
REP: Tim McCormack
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17th Judicial District Attorney
DEM: Brian Mason
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18th Judicial District Attorney
REP: John Kellner
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18th Judicial District Attorney
DEM: Amy Padden
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AURORA | Voting returns on Wednesday morning showed Democrats edging their Republican challengers in races for open district attorneys posts in Aurora’s two judicial districts. 

Democrat Amy Padden is maintaining a sliver of a lead over Republican John Kellner in the race for Arapahoe County’s 18th judicial district, and Democrat Brian Mason is handily beating Republic Tim McCormack in Adams and Broomfield Counties. On Wednesday, Padden led by less than 2,000 votes out of more than 500,000 cast.

When reached by phone late Tuesday, Mason said, “the numbers certainly look very good for us.” He said he’s waiting for more votes to be counted, but plans on declaring victory in the race in an announcement issued Wednesday.

Mason was ahead of McCormack by about 30,000 votes as of approximately 11 p.m. Tuesday.

The race south of East Colfax Avenue remains much tighter. Combined numbers from Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln Counties, show Padden up by 1,198 votes, or about a third of 1 percentage point, according to totals tabulated by the Secretary of State’s Office. That’s near the threshold that could trigger an automatic recount. That process is initiated if the two candidates are separated by a margin equal to or less than one half of 1% of the leader’s vote total.

Padden is seeking to succeed term-limited George Brauchler in the jurisdiction that serves nearly 90% of Aurora and spans across four counties. The district is set to be split and reshaped in four years. 

Padden, a former state and federal prosecutor, is currently working in the 11th Judicial District, which covers Fremont, Chaffee and Custer Counties. 

Padden is seeking to succeed term-limited George Brauchler in the jurisdiction that serves nearly 90% of Aurora and spans across four counties. The district is set to be split and reshaped in four years. 

Padden, a former state and federal prosecutor, is currently working in the 11th Judicial District, which covers Fremont, Chaffee and Custer Counties. 

Kellner is currently a prosecutor in the 18th under Brauchler. He has spent nearly the past eight years as a chief deputy DA, primarily specializing in unsolved cold cases. 

Mason is on track to succeed his current boss, term-limited Democrat Dave Young. Mason, who has been with the office since former DA Don Quick’s tenure in 2006, is currently the office’s trial manager and oversees all felony cases. McCormack formerly held the same role in the same office, but left for a position in the 1st Judicial District three years ago.

Both of the Democratic candidates for DA have pledged to reorganize their respective offices, voicing their support for a variety of justice reforms. McCormack and Kellner, too, have signaled support for a rejiggering their respective offices and adding diversion programs.

A new advocacy arm of the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition endorsed Padden last month, but declined to endorse anyone in Mason’s race for the 17th, saying the latter candidate did not align with the group’s central tenets. 

Padden brought in about $50,000 more than Kellner in her bid for the 18th, according to recent campaign finance figures. She also loaned herself $80,000 earlier this year. 

Mason netted more than twice as much money as his opponent, reporting $118,000 in contributions as of Nov. 2. McCormack spent about $45,000 on his bid.