AURORA | As he enters the final year of his term as 17th Judicial District Attorney, Dave Young is facing a tougher-than-expected battle for his party’s nomination.
After having won the DA position unopposed in 2012, Young garnered just 25.3 percent of the vote at Saturday’s dual Adams and Broomfield county Democratic Party assembly. Young could now have to petition his way onto the ballot.
Boulder Deputy District Attorney Caryn Datz, who previously served as chief trial deputy in the 17th Judicial District, won 74.6 percent of the assembly vote.
“I am so honored and excited at the possibility of serving you as your next District Attorney,” Datz said at the assembly. “I am committed to working together, building bridges, and making positive changes in our community. Thank you for your belief in me, we still have lots of work ahead!”
Young said he is considering protesting the results after what he said was a “questionable voting process” at a “disorganized” assembly.
“I’m currently looking into the validity of the whole process,” he said.
Young said the DA’s race was the last of the day and some credentialed delegates had left before the vote. In some cases, those delegates passed their voting credentials to other voters, he said.
If he opts not to protest, or if a protest is denied, Young said he would need to collect 1,000 signatures by April 4 to petition his way onto the primary ballot. He said he is confident he could collect that many.
“I plan on getting a lot more,” he said.
Young said he doesn’t think the result is a sign voters are unhappy with his performance as DA and noted the assembly includes only about 300 people from a jurisdiction of more than 500,000.
When asked about Young’s criticism of the assembly process, Datz said in a prepared statement she respected the process.
“The assembly on Saturday was a long but exciting day. I greatly appreciate the hard work and tireless dedication of the volunteers and party leaders of the Adams and Broomfield Democratic parties. The community has spoken, resulting in 75 percent of voters nominating me to be the Democratic candidate for this race, and I deeply respect and appreciate that statement of support,” the statement said.
Datz was nominated by state Rep. Joe Salazar, D-Thornton.
In her two years with the Boulder County DA’s office, Datz has focused on domestic violence and sexual assault prosecutions.
In a statement after the assembly, Datz said that under former district attorneys Don Quick and Robert Grant, the Adams and Broomfield D.A.’s office “was revered as one of the strongest” in the state and that she “hopes to return the office to that standing.”
The winner of the primary is set to face Republican Molly Jansen, a criminal defense attorney, in the November general election.