Colorado Primary Election 2024: Live blog, results and updates

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Colorado GOP congresswoman Lauren Boebert arranges a Make America Great Again hat and a pair of gold high-top sneakers on the stage at her Primary election watch party Tuesday evening, June 25, at RainDance National Resort and Golf Club in Windsor.

12:24 am.: That's it for us tonight. A final thought on the GOP's primary races:

Tuesday's results could be seen as a rebuke to the Colorado GOP. In a break with tradition, the party endorsed primary candidates this year. And, with the exception of Lauren Boebert, all of the congressional candidates who got the party's nod were defeated soundly.

However, for the Republicans who complain that Colorado's election laws give unaffiliated voters an undue influence in the party's selection process, these results may serve as more motivation to try to close its primaries in the future.

-Megan Verlee

12:15 a.m. A race too close to call

River Gassen and Joe Reagan were in a dead heat as of Tuesday night in the Democratic Primary in Colorado's 5th Congressional District.

As of 11:53 p.m., Joe Reagan had 49.92 percent (19,022 votes) to River Gassen’s 50.08 percent (19,080 votes). The 5th District is located in El Paso County.

Read more here.

-John Daley

11:30 p.m. George Brauchler leads in GOP primary for newly created 23rd Judicial District

George Brauchler, a former district attorney and former candidate for Colorado Attorney General, has a commanding lead in the Republican nomination to be the district attorney of a newly created judicial district.

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
George Brauchler at a debate Jan. 25, 2024 among candidates running in the 8th Congressional District primary race.

He says his opponent, Dagny Van Der Jagt, has not conceded, but as of Tuesday night and three rounds of ballot returns, Brauchler feels confident with a 30 point advantage.

“It feels great obviously to win,” said Brauchler. “As a candidate you never feel comfortable, no matter what anybody tells you, until those ballots start rolling in.”

Read more here.

-Ben Markus

11:12 p.m.: Trisha Calvarese may take on Lauren Boebert this fall

Trisha Calvarese held a healthy lead Tuesday night in the Democratic Primary for Colorado's 4th Congressional District.

The winner of the contest will take on Republican Lauren Boebert, the conservative incumbent in the 3rd District who recently moved tot he eastern side of the state to run in the 4th District.

“I mean, it was pretty remarkable. We showed up. We were the last ones in this race,” Calvarese said who claimed victory during her interview with CPR News. Ike McCorkle, who is in second place with 41.02 percent of the vote, has not conceded the race.

Read more here.

-John Daley

10:54 p.m. Who's winning in the Democratic CU Regents and state Board of Education primaries

In a race marked by an extraordinary last minute infusion of money, longtime Boulder school board member and attorney Kathy Gebhardt appears to be winning the Democratic primary for the Board of Education seat representing the 2nd Congressional District.

In the 4th Congressional District, covering the Eastern Plains and portions of the Front Range, former Colorado GOP chair Kristi Burton Brown appears poised to edge out her competitor.

Read more here.

Elliot Hood has won the Democratic primary for the University of Colorado’s Board of Regents at-large seat, beating Charles “CJ” Johnson, with 53 percent of the votes to Johnson’s 47 percent as of 9 p.m. Tuesday evening. Hood will face Eric Rinard, a Republican, in the November election. 

This race was the only statewide contest on Coloradans’ primary ballots this year. The seat is currently held by Democrat Lesley Smith, who is running for a seat in the state House.

Read more here.

-Jenny Brundin

9:20 p.m. Results showing Tim Hernandez falling behind Cecelia Espenoza to defend his District 4 State House seat

Natalie, a Palestinian advocate with the Colorado Palestine Coalition who declined to give her last name, praised incumbent Tim Hernández for being the rare lawmaker who has vocally supported Palestinian rights.

“Tim has been substantial in helping us express why a free Palestine is a cause that needs to be talked about on a local level, on a city level, on the state level,” Natalie said. “And Tim has been the number one advocate for us.”

As results rolled in, some in the crowd began to worry that Hernández was losing.

Regardless of the outcome, Natalie is proud of the campaign’s work.

“Ultimately, for us, we are just proud of the people power that led us to this particular place, and this particular time, and we're proud of the community,” she said.

Kyle Harris/Denverite
Tim Hernández with the green lowrider he bought on Election Day, June 25, 2024.

Hernández had spent Election Day knocking on more than 220 doors. At one of his stops, a resident was selling a green lowrider truck. He purchased it and drove it to his Election Night watch party at Convivio Cafe.

This entry was updated at 9:29 p.m.

-Kyle Harris

9:05 p.m. John Walsh wins Democratic primary for Denver's district attorney race

John Walsh, the former U.S. Attorney for Colorado who had the edge in money and endorsements, won the Democratic primary for District Attorney of Denver.

Walsh beat Leora Joseph, a longtime prosecutor in Boston and Arapahoe County. Joseph conceded the race shortly before 9 p.m. on Election Night.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Denver District Attorney candidate John Walsh yuks it up at the bar during his Election Night watch party at The Bar At Plaza 38. June 25, 2024.

Walsh led the race with 58 percent of the vote to Joseph's 42 percent.

Walsh is likely to become the next District Attorney in November, as there is no Republican candidate and time is running short for an unaffiliated candidate to submit enough petition signatures to appear on the general election ballot.

Read more.

-Ben Markus

8:52 p.m. Boebert trades in cowboy boots for gold kicks

Lauren Boebert sported her gold sneakers and matched it with her gold "Make America Great Again" hat — both sold by the Trump campaign — during her election night watch party in Windsor.

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Colorado GOP congresswoman Lauren Boebert arranges a Make America Great Again hat and a pair of gold high-top sneakers on the stage at her Primary election watch party Tuesday evening, June 25, at RainDance National Resort and Golf Club in Windsor.
Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Wearing her pair of Trump-themed gold high-top sneakers, Colorado GOP congresswoman Lauren Boebert declares victory during her 4th Congressional District Primary election watch party Tuesday evening, June 25, at RainDance National Resort and Golf Club in Windsor.
Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Colorado GOP congresswoman Lauren Boebert extends her arms in prayer during her 4th Congressional District Primary election watch party Tuesday evening, June 25, at RainDance National Resort and Golf Club in Windsor.

-Hart Van Denburg

8:34 p.m. AP calls race for Hurd

Political newcomer Jeff Hurd appears poised to win the Republican primary for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, setting up a potentially tough general election battle in November against a well-funded Democrat in the race for the seat currently held by Rep. Lauren Boebert. 

The Associated Press called the race for Hurd just over an hour after polls closed. He is leading the primary field with 42 percent of the vote. The rest is split between the race’s five other candidates.

Hurd entered the race early as a challenger to Boebert and quickly racked up endorsements and donations from prominent Western Slope Republicans. The Grand Junction attorney pitched himself to voters as a dedicated but low-key public servant, in contrast to the firebrand that was Boebert. 

Hours before the results came in, Hurd told CPR News he felt the district was “hungry for a serious, hardworking Republican candidate.” 

“I think voters are tired of a kind of cynical politics that just gets them angry. And I think they're hungry for somebody that's focused on the issues that matter to them: the cost of housing, the cost of the food that they're putting on their tables, the cost of the gasoline they're putting in their cars,” Hurd said.

Read more here.

-Tom Hesse and Stina Sieg

8:20 p.m. Jeff Hurd leads in GOP primary for 3rd Congressional District previously held by Boebert

Early returns are looking good for Jeff Hurd in the 3rd Congressional District Republican primary. If the numbers hold, it would suggest a shift away from the firebrand conservative politics exemplified by Lauren Boebert who left Western Colorado to compete in the 4th Congressional District.

Hurd, who entered the race early as an alternative to Boebert, racked up early endorsements and contributions in the race. As of 8 p.m., Hurd had about a 10,000-vote lead on his next closest competitor, Ron Hanks. Hanks was seen as the most conservative candidate in the race.

-Tom Hesse

7:59 p.m. Jeff Crank on track to be the GOP candidate in 5th Congressional District

In the closely-watched, high stakes Republican primary race for the House seat representing Colorado Springs, Republican Jeff Crank appears to be defeating controversial GOP state party chair Dave Williams.

As of 7:50 p.m. Tuesday night, Crank was up over Williams, 68 percent to 32 percent, with nearly 65,000.

Crank is well known to many conservatives in the district for his years hosting a talk radio show on KVOR AM. Crank also served as the Colorado director for Americans for Prosperity, the conservative Koch brothers-backed free market advocacy group. In that role he also hosted a podcast for the group.

Read more here.

-Bente Birkeland

7:54 p.m. GOP Greg Lopez well ahead in vacancy election to fill out remainder of retired Rep. Ken Buck’s term

Voters in Colorado’s 4th Congressional District appear ready to send Republican Greg Lopez to Congress to fill the rest of former Rep. Ken Buck’s term this Congress.

Colorado’s fourth is the state’s most Republican House seat and Lopez was favored to win. He faced Democrat Trisha Calvares, a former staffer at the US Science Foundation and the AFL-CIO, Libertarian Hannah Goodman and Frank Atwood with the Approval Voting Party.

As of 7:30 p.m., Lopez led with 52 percent of the vote, followed by Calvarese with 41 percent.

Read more here.

-Caitlyn Kim

7:46 p.m.: Gabe Evans wins GOP primary for Colorado's 8th Congressional District

State Rep. Gabe Evans opened an immediate and overwhelming lead over his Republican rival in the primary in Colorado’s 8th Congressional District. In early returns, Evans had 78 percent of the vote, to former state lawmaker Janak Joshi’s 22 percent.

The Associated Press called the race for Evans less than a half hour after the polls closed.

It could be one of the most consequential outcomes of primary night in Colorado. The 8th is one of the most competitive Congressional seats in the nation. Stretching from north of Denver out to Greeley, it covers suburbs, exurbs and rural plains country. Republicans hope that the winner of this primary will go on to unseat incumbent Democratic Rep. Yadira Caraveo.

Molly Cruse/CPR News
8th Congressional District candidate Gabe Evans giving a victory speech at a primary watch party at Satire Brewery in Thornton, Colorado on Tuesday, June 25, 2024.

Evans was widely expected to dominate the contest. He raised 15 times more money than Joshi and secured the endorsement of former President Donald Trump and a dozen members of Congress, as well as influential anti-Trump conservatives like Americans for Prosperity. Those figures and groups saw him as the stronger option to flip the district.

“I'm going to work as a big tent Republican, with anyone who believes in those same broad principles,” Evans said at a recent campaign event.

Evans, a former Army helicopter pilot and Arvada police officer, was elected to the state legislature in 2022, representing portions of Adams and Weld county. He grew up in Aurora and in Elbert County.His opponent, Joshi, is a retired doctor and medical practice owner who surrendered his medical license and was later elected to three terms in the state House, representing a Colorado Springs district.

Read more here.

-Andy Kenney

7:27 p.m.: Rep. Lauren Boebert wins GOP primary for Colorado’s 4th Congressional District

The Associated Press has called the GOP primary in Colorado’s 4th Congressional District for Rep. Lauren Boebert. As of 7:30 p.m. she had 43 percent of the vote, while none of the other five candidates had more than 17 percent.

These results mean Boebert will be a Republican candidate for Congress for a third time, this time representing the other side of the state.

Boebert is currently the congresswoman for the 3rd Congressional District, covering the Western Slope and southern Colorado. But she recently moved to the eastern side of the state and is now running in the 4th Congressional District.

On Tuesday night, she faced the biggest hurdle in that political odyssey: She had to win the Republican primary election so she could move on to the general election in November. The district leans heavily Republican, so the winner of the primary has a strong chance of moving on to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Read more here.

-Andy Kenney

7:11 p.m. Walsh has early lead over Leora in Denver DA race

Denver City and County voters favor John Walsh for district attorney so far, according to early poll results.

Walsh is ahead with 58 percent of the Denver vote as of 7 p.m. Leora Joseph trails at 42 percent.

Read more here.

-Ben Markus

7:06 p.m. Three views on Lauren Boebert

Over the course of a few minutes, I heard three distinctly different perspectives from voters in Windsor — all related, one way or another, to Rep. Lauren Boebert.

Boebert is a newcomer to this stretch of eastern Colorado, having moved out of her previous district in western Colorado. But her reputation preceded her, among both supporters and detractors.

“She has a history. She's definitely a bulldog in terms of trying to get things done. She's doing the right things to help our country,” said Gene Shields, 62. He saw Boebert as the surest bet to counter the “intentional downfall” of the country.

Voter Ralph Zentz, 64, preferred Jerry Sonnenberg, the Logan County commissioner and former state lawmaker, because of his generational ties to northeastern Colorado.

Molly Cruse/CPR News
The Community Recreation Center in Weld County served as a vote center for the June 25 primary.

“It was because of his roots in Colorado and ranching, and I think he understands the balance between urban and rural really well,” the Loveland Republican said.

Boebert also faced some opposition from outside the Republican Party. In Colorado’s primary system, unaffiliated voters can participate in party primaries. Joyce Durol, 72, of Windsor says she usually leans Democratic, but decided to return the Republican ballot in this primary because she dislikes Boebert so much.

“I think she's outrageous. She's the last thing we need. I don't have much faith in her ability to represent the interests of the people in District Four,” she said.

-Andy Kenney

7 p.m.: Polls are closed! 

The polls are now closed for Colorado’s primary election. Follow our special coverage now with All Things Considered host Nathan Heffel. You can find a station in your area or listen live online here

You can also check out our election results page here and join us in anxiously refreshing the page for new information. 

-Steph Rivera

6:52 p.m.: CPR News reporter Tony Gorman is keeping an eye out for candidate Dave Williams

I’m in Colorado Springs to cover 5th Congressional District candidate Dave Williams’ watch party. Sources said that the party would be held at the El Paso County GOP headquarters and closed to the press. Other sources said it would be held at BRAVE Church (formerly Fervent Church) or Church at Briargate.

I attempted to contact the campaign by phone and email to confirm the location. The call dropped as I attempted to leave a voicemail message. I didn’t receive a response before I headed out.

First, I went to BRAVE Church near Carefree Circle and Academy. The doors were locked when I tried to enter. According to Marshall Zelinger of 9News, El Paso County GOP Chairwoman Vicki Tonkins was seen leaving headquarters.

Next, I went to the Church at Briargate. I walked into the facility and met with a man in a sling at the door. When asked if there’s a watch party there, the man said no. In the background, people were setting up for a patriotic gathering. Tables were draped with US flag decorations. I noticed Tonkins walking in the background. Another man approached the church saying he was there for a Bible study.

-Tony Gorman

6:01 p.m. Primary Day photos from Weld County and the Western Slope

Tom Hesse/CPR News
Fruita’s Dinosaur Journey Museum, which is one of Mesa County’s three polling stations.
Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Colorado GOP Congresswoman Lauren Boebert held her 4th Congressional District Primary election watch party Tuesday evening, June 25, at RainDance National Resort and Golf Club in Windsor, Weld County. As these nearby roadside Trump and Stars and Stripes flags attest, the district leans heavily Republican.

-Photos by Tom Hesse and Hart Van Denburg

5:55 p.m. Roll call from our other Front Range reporters plus Western Slope representation!

Hi, folks! This is Western Slope reporter Stina Sieg, and I'm following the District 3 Republican primary. This district is HUGE, encompassing much of western and southern Colorado. It's currently represented by Lauren Boebert, who has packed up to compete in District 4, after only a narrow victory last election. Now, there are several Republican men vying to replace her, including far-right candidate Ron Hanks, who was at the Jan. 6 riot, and political newcomer Jeff Hurd, who's been campaigning on his more moderate, cooperative vision of working in Congress. I'm covering Hurd tonight, and I'll bring reaction from him regardless of whether he wins or loses. Also, I hope to talk to voters in Palisade about the issues and candidates they care about.

-Stina Sieg

I’ll be starting the evening at Fruita’s Dinosaur Journey Museum, which features more than 15,000 fossil specimens and fossil bones of dinosaurs like the Apatosaurus and Allosaurus excavated from the rich fossil deposits in the region. It also features one of Mesa County’s three polling stations where we hope to hear from voters about how they're thinking about a post-Lauren Boebert Republican ticket in Colorado's 3rd Congressional District.

-Tom Hesse

Hi! Molly Cruse here, CPR’s news fellow. I’m in Thornton this evening, attending 8th Congressional District candidate Gabe Evans’s watch party at the Satire Brewing Company. Evans, who was elected to the state legislature in 2022, is expected to dominate the race. Evans has raised 15 times more money and influential endorsements (including backing from both former President Donald Trump and anti-Trump conservatives) than his opponent, Janak Joshi. The two Republican candidates are running for the chance to challenge Rep. Yadira Caraveo — in what could be one of the country’s most competitive elections this fall.

-Molly Cruse

Andy Kenney here. I’m in the northern reaches of the 4th Congressional District, posted up at the Windsor Community Recreation Center for now. The question of the day is just how well Rep. Lauren Boebert will fare among a crowded GOP field. She’s expected to win handily, but I’ll be looking to see just how strong her support is after she recently moved here to avoid a political challenge in her old district in the mountains. I should add that it is blazing hot but a big storm cloud is looming. The parking lot is a mix of minivans, four-door luxe pickups and SUVs with decals that say things like “Oilfield Wife.”

-Andy Kenney

Investigative reporter Ben Markus here, I'll be monitoring the Denver District Attorney primary. Two Democrats (and super PACS) have raised more than $1 million combined for the primary. John Walsh, the former US Attorney of Colorado faces Leora Joseph, a longtime prosecutor in Boston and Arapahoe County. The winner tonight is expected to win the seat in a November general election. There is no Republican running. There has been no public polling, and turnout is trending low, so no one seems to have a sense of who will win this. Walsh has the endorsements and the money advantage. Joseph has campaigned longer, and has done a lot of door knocking and shoe leather campaigning. The winning candidate will have vast control over the 13,000 annual criminal cases, and face a difficult environment, as violent crime and drug overdoses remain stubbornly high in Denver.

-Ben Markus

5:29 p.m. Oh no Tony!

Our CPR reporter Tony Gorman is having a hard time pinning down the location of 5th Congressional District candidate Dave Williams' watch party. His latest update to us mentioned locked doors at Brave Church. Now he's heading to Briargate. Good luck Tony!

-Steph Rivera

5:23 p.m. 'Things have been very slow' says Denver Elections official

Mikayla Ortega of the Denver Elections Division says voting is very behind compared to 2022.

"So right now voter turnout is at 17 percent," Ortega said. "Overall turnout in 2022 was 28 percent. These numbers are pretty dismal."

Ortega said right now the city's message to voters is to get out and vote.

"This is how you make your voice heard and who's going to represent you locally, statewide and in DC," she said.

-Kevin J. Beaty

4:55 p.m. More CPR reporters are preparing for the evening!

Hello listeners and readers! This is Jenny Brundin, education reporter. I’ve been talking to voters and tonight I’ll be at the newsroom to follow the state board of education primary races for congressional districts 2 and 4 and the CU Board of Regents at-large race. I have observed today that voters don’t see many differences between the candidates in several races so some had a hard time making a decision – but still appreciated the opportunity to weigh in!

-Jenny Brundin

Hello! Rebecca with Denverite here covering the House District 6 Democratic primary. The question tonight is straightforward: Can incumbent Elisabeth Epps beat out her well-funded opponent Sean Camacho? Epps won the seat in 2022 with a background as a progressive attorney and activist, while Camacho is an attorney and former Republican who unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic seat in 2020 and 2022.  Whoever wins the primary is likely to win the fall general election in the largely Democratic district. Let's see what the evening holds.

-Rebecca Tauber

Hey there, Colorado audience! John Daley, the health reporter, here. I'm tracking reaction from the Democratic candidates in congressional districts 4 and 5. The Republicans have captured most of the headlines in these districts to date, but the Democratic winners hope to create some headlines of their own if they can this fall. We'll hear what they have to say!

-John Daley

Howdy, Colorado! Kyle Harris, Denverite reporter here, covering the House District 4 Democratic primary. I’m going to be biking between watch parties in North and Northwest Denver where Tim Hernández is defending his appointed seat against challenger Cecelia Espenoza. Tonight, the big question is whether Hernández, who won a vacancy process and took his seat in September, can get enough actual voters’ backing and win a primary. Whoever wins tonight's race will compete against the sole GOP candidate, Jack Daus, in the November election. This swath of north and west Denver has skewed Democratic for well over a decade, so whoever wins tonight will have a strong chance of winning the seat.

-Kyle Harris

4:26 p.m.: Updated return numbers show more people voting in Democratic primaries than Republican ones

838,526 Colorado voters have returned their ballots so far in today's primary election, as of 3 p.m. turnout numbers released by the Secretary of State's office. That's a turnout rate of just over 21 percent, well below the numbers at this point in other recent primaries.

Things are a bit more active in Congressional District 4, where voters have congressional primaries in both parties and a vacancy election on their ballot. Turnout for the district has passed 25 percent.

Statewide, the people casting ballots have been disproportionately older, with more than half of ballots coming from voters age 65 and up. And at this point, slightly more people have voted in Democratic primaries than Republican ones.

While unaffiliated voters are allowed to participate in primaries, just 16 percent have done so, so far. And while slightly more than half of Colorado's registered voters are unaffiliated, they only make up 35 percent of the votes in this election.

This entry was updated at 4:46 p.m.

-Megan Verlee

4:02 p.m.: Check out where some of our CPR reporters are hunkering down for election night

For the first time, I won’t be at an election night watch party. Instead, I’ll be with CPR’s Nathan Heffel and guests talking about the results and what they might mean. While a lot of the press attention is on Rep. Lauren Boebert in the 4th Congressional District Race and her five primary challengers, the race that I’m most curious about is the GOP primary in the 3rd Congressional District. Will the attack ads that have been running against Grand Junction attorney Jeff Hurd and former state Rep. Ron Hanks work? And could Stephen Varela pull off a surprise?

-Caitlyn Kim

Tonight, I'll be covering the watch party for the 5th Congressional District candidate and current State GOP Chair Dave Williams. I started out the day planning to go to his watch party at El Paso County GOP headquarters in Colorado Springs even though it's closed off to the press. Now, I'm hearing that his watch party is somewhere else. Apparently, there's a $25 cover charge at the door.

-Tony Gorman

I’m in Pueblo for the evening, attending two watch parties for candidates in the 3rd Congressional District primary. With no primary challenger, Adam Frisch is hosting his “watch party” (uh, victory party) at Walter’s Brewing and Taproom. I guess I’ll ask if he’s surprised he made it to the general? From a reporting standpoint, I’m more interested in attending Republican Stephen Varela’s watch party. The just-former Democrat quotes Ronald Reagan in saying he didn’t leave the Democratic party, but instead “the party left me.” I saw a big ‘ol Varela billboard on the drive down to Pueblo from Colorado Springs, and we’re watching his race as a potential surprise of the night. 

Side note: we received this message from the Varela campaign today, who had been planning his party for the local GOP headquarters: “The Pueblo Republican Party HQ was hit by gunfire yesterday, so we're relocating tonight's watch party to Sunset Bowl.”

Wait, what?! We’re looking into it.

-Dan Boyce

3:44 p.m.: No love for Lauren Boebert in Loveland

Longtime Loveland resident Linda Perrin always votes. “That’s really an important part of living in America,” she said. 

She’s especially interested in national issues but today she was focusing on the Democratic primary for the 4th Congressional District. Perrin doesn’t see this race as important because of the number of Democrats running but she hopes the candidate she voted for stands a chance against the Republican candidate in the general election, whether it’s Lauren Boebert or someone else. 

“I hope to God,” Perrin said. “I would hate to see Lauren Boebert representing us.”

When asked how she felt about Boebert, one word immediately came to mind: carpetbagger.

“Yea that’s what she is,” Perrin said. “It’s unreal that we would elect somebody like that who is here not because she wants to be part of this district but because she wants to win.”

-Paolo Zialcita

2:59 p.m. For this Denver voter, honesty is important when it comes to candidates. And every vote counts

Jan Lewis was involved in politics before she could vote. The Denver native said she worked in a campaign against former President Richard Nixon while in high school. And she has come to realize how important voting is. 

“Every vote counts,” Lewis said. “There have been elections in my lifetime that were won by less than a hundred votes.”

Jenny Brundin/CPR News
Denver voter Jan Lewis outside the Carla Madison Recreation Center in Denver on Tuesday, June 25, 2024.

Lewis also appreciates honesty in politicians. Even though she has been getting mailers discrediting House District 6 incumbent Elisabeth Epps, Lewis said she appreciated Epps’ honesty when she revealed she had an abortion.  

“She is the first politician I heard of who admitted to having an abortion,” Lewis said. “And I thought, ‘You know, that woman is for me. I don’t care how she votes. She admitted to it’.”

-Jenny Brundin

11:45 a.m.: Something really cool about this primary

All three GOP seats have open primaries. Representatives Doug Lamborn and Ken Buck have both retired, while Boebert is leaving for a new current district. That means, without any true incumbents, Colorado's Republican voters have a pretty clear path to dictate where they want this party to go.

-Alejandro Alonso Galva

11:28 a.m.: Voters seem to be out and about in Congressional District 4

Matthew Miller emerged from the voting center at the Loveland Police and Courts building and immediately pulled out a cigarette. He declined to say who he voted for in the Republican primary, but he said his most important issues were taxes and the economy.

“I find [the candidates] don't differ a whole lot,” said Miller.

Miller said he prayed on who to vote for in the Republican race, adding that he wished more people got involved in the electoral process. He referred to the state of the economy as "outrageous."

Loveland is in Congressional District 4, and this polling location has proven to be far more bustling than my previous two stops. Here, cars are driving up to the ballot box every other minute and over a dozen voters entered the physical polling booths within the first 10 minutes of me being here.

Paolo Zialcita

10:23 a.m.: This voter literally ran to the polls

Ballot in hand, Crystal Polis (no relation to Gov. Jared Polis) braved the heat and ran a mile from her house to Front Range Community College’s ballot drop box.

The only two contested elections on Polis’ ballot were the Democratic primary for an at-large seat on University of Colorado Board of Regents and a county commission race. She said she felt compelled to vote to be a good example for her kids.

Paolo Zialcita/CPR News
Crystal Polis drops off her ballot at a drop box on Front Range Community College’s campus in Westminster, Tuesday, June 25, 2024.

“I have two teenage kids. [For one], this will be the first election to vote in,” Polis said. “So making sure that she filled out the form, sent it in and she’ll participate.”

After she dropped off her ballot, Polis left to finish the last three to four miles of her morning run.

Paolo Zialcita

10:15 a.m.: It might be Primary Day, but it feels like November for some districts

Today will tell us a lot about how Colorado's congressional delegation will look in 2025. Historically, Congressional Districts 3, 4, and 5 have been Republican strongholds. That means the winners of tonight's GOP primaries are likely to win in November.

Still, two-time Democratic nominee Adam Frisch has proven he has a lot to say about precedent. He took on nationally popular Rep. Lauren Boebert in 2020 in CD-3 and lost by just 546 votes. So, as one of our NPR colleagues might say, political precedent is only precedent until it's broken.

— Alejandro Alonso Galva

9:45 a.m.: All quiet on the CO-8 front

I’ve spent the morning driving around Congressional District 8, looking for voters with something to say. The race here is likely to be one of the most contentious elections in Colorado this November, when incumbent Democrat Yadira Caraveo will face a challenge from either Gabe Evans or Janak Joshi.

So far, my travels have been quiet. At my first stop at the Adams County Human Services Center in Westminster, the only voter I saw was a county employee dropping off their ballot.

Paolo Zialcita/CPR News
A ballot drop box at the Adams County Human Services Center in Congressional District 8, Tuesday, June 25, 2024.

Now I’m at Front Range Community College’s Westminster campus, where it’s similarly quiet. As I sit outside the polling center, I can hear polling staff playing an election trivia game about elections.

Voter turnout has so far lagged way behind numbers from the 2022 and 2020 primaries.

Paolo Zialcita

7 a.m.: Turnout so far lags other primary elections, big time

We’ll be getting updated turnout numbers as the day goes on, but as of Monday morning, the number of ballots returned statewide stood at 622,391, a turnout rate of just 16 percent.

That’s well behind turnout numbers at this point in the 2022 and 2000 primaries. 

Of course turnout in primaries has a huge amount to do with how many contested races voters find on their ballots. Two years ago, every statewide office and one U.S. Senate seat were up. While the Democratic incumbents ran unchallenged, some of the Republican races were fiercely contested. In 2020, Democrats were picking a candidate to take on Republican Senator Cory Gardner and then little-known challenger Lauren Boebert pulled off a surprise upset against GOP Rep. Scott Tipton.

Courtesy of Colorado Secretary of State's Office
State Primary Comparison Trend Line for 2020, 2022 and 2024.

This year, the only statewide race is a Democratic contest for at-large CU regent. Coloradans in half of the state’s eight congressional districts do have primaries on one or both sides, and there are numerous contests at the state legislative and local levels. But for many Coloradans, the options for both party primaries are pretty slim.

Of the ballots returned so far this year, just over half of them have been cast in Democratic contests, versus Republican ones. And more than half of the voters so far have been 65 years or older. 

— Megan Verlee

6:30 a.m.: Congressional District 3 - The race to replace Boebert

Six Republicans are vying to take current Rep. Lauren Boebert’s seat in this wide open primary, now that the two-term incumbent has decided to try her luck on the other side of the state.

The candidates are:

  • Board of Education member Stephen Varela
  • Grand Junction attorney Jeff Hurd
  • Former state Rep. Ron Hanks
  • Durango businessman Lew Webb
  • Aspen financial advisor Russ Andrews
  • Delta County business owner Curtis McCrackin

The winner of the primary will take on Democrat Adam Frisch, who has clinched the nomination for the second time. Frisch made headlines after he came within 546 votes of defeating Boebert in 2022.

Read our Third Congressional District voter guide here.

— Megan Verlee

6 a.m.: Congressional District 4 - Boebert gets all the headlines. What about the Democrats?

The fourth district is one of Colorado’s reddest, but that hasn’t deterred a number of Democrats from making a run. That party has a three-way contest going, between Trisha Calvarese, Ike McCorkle and John Padora Jr.

One thing to watch:

  • Do Democratic voters split their choices for the primary and the vacancy election? Trisha Calvarese isn’t just running in the primary. She was also nominated to be the Democratic candidate in the vacancy election to fill the last few months of Buck’s term. That means voters who chose the Democratic ballot will see her name twice. Will that give her a leg up in the primary race, or will voters make separate determinations?

Read our Fourth Congressional District voter guide here.

— Megan Verlee

5:30 a.m.: Congressional District 4 - New district, same Boebert. What will voters make of the congresswoman’s seat switch? 

There are six Republican candidates on the ballot in CO-4, but sometimes the field can feel like ‘Lauren Boebert vs. the other guys.’

That’s because, since the moment Boebert announced she was making a cross-state hop to run in a new district, the controversial congresswoman has dominated the coverage in the race to replace retired Rep. Ken Buck.

Voters, however, have a lot of choices in this headline race. The “other guys” in the field include:

  • Former radio host and parents’ rights activist Deborah Flora
  • State Rep. Richard Holtorf
  • State Rep. and former House Minority Leader Mike Lynch
  • Former state lawmaker and current Logan County Commissioner Jerry Sonnenberg
  • Businessman Peter Yu

Two things we are watching:

  • How the Republican votes split. With six candidates, it’s very likely that whoever wins will do it with a plurality, not a majority, of votes. In Boebert’s case, if she is victorious, her margin may indicate how enthusiastic GOP voters are to have her as their representative.
  • Which ballot will unaffiliated voters return? Unaffiliated voters get to choose which party’s primary they’ll participate in. With active races on both sides, which primary will they decide to have a say in? And, again, what does that indicate about the enthusiasm contest?

Read our Fourth Congressional District voter guide here.

— Megan Verlee

Happy Primary Day, Colorado! 

The polls are open from 7 a.m. this morning to 7 p.m. tonight. If you still need to drop off your ballot, register to vote or would just like to vote in person you can find your nearest drop boxes and voter center locations here

Still need to fill out your ballot? Check out our primary voter guide here for information on our most competitive congressional races – including the 4th District which includes Lauren Boebert – and the statewide at-large Board of Regents race.

CPR will also be bringing you updates throughout the day from our reporters around the state. As soon as the polls close at 7 p.m. come back here for live results or if you’re streaming or on the road, find our live coverage at one of these stations

And remember, the best way to stay up to date will be to sign up for the Lookout email list, which will send out alerts on news and results as the evening rolls on. You can do that here.

— Steph Rivera