Elisabeth Epps wins Colorado House District 6 primary race

By: - June 30, 2022 10:15 pm
Elisabeth Epps

Abolitionist and state House candidate Elisabeth Epps addresses the crowd gathered at the Colorado Capitol for a “State of the Climate” rally on Jan. 13, 2022. (Chase Woodruff/Colorado Newsline)

A nail-biter of a primary race ended in a decisive win for progressive Elisabeth Epps, a self-described abolitionist and former public defender who beat Katie March in the Democratic primary for Denver’s state House District 6.

March, who was supported by business groups and the party establishment, led by just 34 votes as of midnight on Tuesday.

After the Denver clerk’s office updated results Wednesday afternoon, Epps was leading by 373 votes and 2.56 percentage points. She and her supporters declared victory — but March didn’t publicly concede until Thursday evening, when the margin between the two candidates grew considerably. By Friday morning, Epps had 53% of the vote compared with March’s 47%.


“I just called to congratulate @elisabethepps on running an impressive campaign,” March said on Twitter at 5 p.m. Thursday. “It is clear that she will bring incredible passion to the job as our next State Representative and I look forward to seeing the policies that she will champion.”

In a written statement issued at 6 p.m. Thursday, Epps’ campaign highlighted the “corporate money” that went to support March’s campaign and what it called “racist disinformation and fear-mongering” from groups that funded advertisements opposing Epps.

A newly formed independent expenditure committee called One Main Street Colorado — created to support business-friendly candidates dedicated to “protecting the middle class” — came under fire from Epps’ supporters throughout the campaign. Since registering with the secretary of state’s office in March, One Main Street has received large donations from the Apartment Association of Metro Denver, Denver Firefighters Local 858, Laborers International Union of North America Local 720, Rocky Mountain Pipe Trades District Council No 5, and other firefighters’ unions and building trade labor organizations.

In one episode, One Main Street polled District 6 primary voters with pointed questions designed to paint Epps in a negative light, including references to social media posts and personal conflicts. The group later created a website to publicize tweets and court documents related to the poll questions, as reported by Colorado Politics.

“My campaign did not pay for this poll or have anything to do with its creation,” March tweeted at the time. “I’m very sorry to see this happening when my campaign has been about policies I’ll fight for, not negativity.”

House District 6 was home one of the state’s most expensive legislative primaries, with Epps’ campaign raising $193,000 and March’s $184,000 by Tuesday. Those totals don’t include the spending by outside groups like One Main Street.

“I can’t say that love always wins, that truth always prevails. But both love and truth emerged as winners in this primary election,” Epps said in the statement from her campaign. “I can’t wait to get to work for HD6.”

House District 6 holds a 66.9 percentage-point advantage for Democrats based on the results of eight recent statewide elections. Epps will face Republican Donald Howell, who did not have a primary opponent, in November.


Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Faith Miller
Faith Miller

Faith Miller was a reporter with Colorado Newsline covering the Colorado Legislature, immigration and other stories.