Griswold, Young hold off GOP challengers in Colorado secretary of state, treasurer races
Democrats hold on to all four statewide offices won in 2018 sweep
Secretary of State Jena Griswold, third from left, attends an election night watch party for Colorado Democrats at The Art hotel in Denver on Nov. 8, 2022. (Carl Payne for Colorado Newsline)
Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold and Treasurer Dave Young both comfortably won reelection Tuesday night, holding off Republican challengers and completing Democrats’ defense of the four statewide offices they won in a clean sweep in 2018.
Unofficial results showed Griswold winning nearly 55% of the vote as of 11 p.m., compared to 43% for GOP secretary of state nominee Pam Anderson, a former Jefferson County clerk and recorder.
“Tonight is a victory, but it is just another step towards building a stronger democracy,” Griswold said at an election-night party hosted by Colorado Democrats at The Art hotel in Denver. “As secretary of state, I’ve stood up to election deniers, to conspiracy theorists, to those willing to threaten our elections, because I know that every voice needs to be heard.”
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With her victory over GOP predecessor Wayne Williams in 2018, Griswold became the nation’s youngest secretary of state and the first Democrat to hold the office in Colorado in 50 years. In the wake of attempts by supporters of former President Donald Trump to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the 2020 election, Griswold has positioned herself as a national leader in the fight against right-wing conspiracy theorists and efforts to undermine voting rights.
That has included confrontations with Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters, a prominent election denier who was indicted this year by a grand jury for her role in an alleged security breach motivated by former President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of widespread election fraud.
Anderson, who also consistently spoke out against election misinformation, secured the GOP nomination after defeating Peters in the June primary.
With Peters’ defeat, the general-election matchup between Griswold and Anderson centered not on disagreements over the substance of 2020 election conspiracy theories, but on differences in their personal and political approaches to confronting them.
Anderson criticized Griswold for politicizing her office and promised to “stay above the partisan fray” as secretary of state, in order to restore trust in elections processes. Griswold, in turn, faulted her opponent for campaigning alongside election deniers in her own party.
“Our message of professionalism and removing partisan politics from the office couldn’t be more important in this time,” Anderson said in a concession speech at a Colorado GOP event Tuesday night. “We cannot allow our elections administration to be turned into a political football. It’s been weaponized by both sides.”
In her victory speech, Griswold thanked Anderson for her campaign and her work as an elections consultant for administrators around the country.
“Pam has been a dedicated public servant who helped many states during the pandemic access needed resources to run elections,” said Griswold.
Young wins reelection as treasurer
Young, elected to the treasurer’s office alongside Griswold in 2018, had received 53.5% of the vote as of late Tuesday night, and held a 10-point lead over GOP challenger Lang Sias, a former state representative.
A Weld County native, Young previously served four terms in the Colorado House of Representatives, and as treasurer has touted his work navigating the financial turmoil of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring state funds are invested responsibly.
“I am humbled by the support and trust Coloradans have put in me to continue the work of the Treasury for the next four years,” Young said in a statement. “I ran for State Treasurer because I believe Colorado is at its best when our economy works for all, and I am excited to continue to work towards that goal.”
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