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Colorado Election Results 2018: Polis, the Blue Wave and the Power of TABOR

Representative Jared Polis is now Colorado's governor-elect.
File photo
Representative Jared Polis is now Colorado's governor-elect.
Editor's note: For more election results, click to access "Colorado Legislature Election Results 2018: Dems Win House and Senate" and "Denver Ballot Issue Election Results 2018: Almost Everything Wins."

Although the November 2018 election didn't produce a Democratic blue wave from coast to coast, the phenomenon hit Colorado with full fury, leading to victories for gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis, attorney general-elect Phil Weiser, incoming Secretary of State Jena Griswold and plenty of their partisans.

As for Douglas Bruce, author of the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, he wasn't on the ballot, but he was a winner, too. The failures of two highway measures, Proposition 109 and Proposition 110 and Amendment 73, which would have substantially bumped up funding for education, shows that TABOR, which requires citizens to approve tax increases by referendum, remains a powerful force more than a quarter-century after its passage.

The Polis campaign benefited from a weak Republican challenger, Walker Stapleton, and enormous resources mainly supplied by the candidate himself. And while Polis downplayed the history he would make as the first openly gay man to serve as Colorado's governor during the run-up to Election Day, this breakthrough was a theme in responses to his triumph in national coverage and social-media responses.


The massive Democratic turnout proved extremely beneficial for down-ballot hopefuls. Weiser faced off against Republican George Brauchler, a much-better-known and highly articulate politician, but won anyhow. Likewise, Griswold bested current Secretary of State Wayne Williams, who had earned well-deserved praise from folks on both sides of the aisle, thanks in large part to her party affiliation.

In regard to ballot measures, props 109 and 110 and Amendment 73 weren't the only prominent proposals to sink. Also falling short was Proposition 112, which called for a 2,500-foot setback on new oil and gas projects. The energy industry vigorously opposed the measure, and the piles of cash it invested paid off. But voters also turned thumbs down on Amendment 74, a poison pill intended to essentially kill 112 had it passed.

Also going down were Amendment V, which would have allowed 21-year-olds to run for state office, and Amendment 75, an intended counter to millionaire self-funders. But by passing Amendment A, Coloradans managed to remove a line about slavery from the state constitution after an embarrassing botch in 2016, and the gerrymandering-addressing amendments Y and Z succeeded, too.

Continue to see results for these statewide races and many more from the Colorado Secretary of State's Office updated as of 4:02 a.m. on Wednesday, November 7.