Cary Kennedy wins Democratic gubernatorial preference poll on caucus night

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Gubernatorial candidate Cary Kennedy speaks with a constituent before a Democratic Party caucus at Smiley Middle School in North Park Hill, March 6, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) copolitics; denver; colorado; northeast park hill; denverite; colorado; kevinjbeaty; election;

Gubernatorial candidate Cary Kennedy speaks with constituent Kristin Winkel before a Democratic Party caucus at Smiley Middle School in North Park Hill, March 6, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Democrat Cary Kennedy won Tuesday night’s preference poll, earning 50 percent of votes to defeat U.S. Rep. Jared Polis by 18 points in a poll conducted during the party’s precinct caucus.

Kennedy’s win moves her toward her goal of appearing on the party’s June primary ballot through the caucus process, which will require she earn at least 30 percent of delegates during April’s state assemblies. The results were posted on the Colorado Democrats website and were recent as of 9:30 a.m. Wednesday with 96 percent of precincts reporting.

Kennedy, the former Colorado State Treasurer, won 9 of the 11 biggest counties in the state, according to a release from her campaign.

“I am so grateful for the incredible showing of support. I could feel the momentum building as I traveled the state,” Kennedy said in the release.

At least 23,183 votes were cast Tuesday night, according to the latest available figures. Kennedy won by 55 percent in Denver County, once again defeating Polis, who gained 19.5 percent of votes in the county.

Polis still had a strong showing, receiving 32.5 percent of votes. Mike Johnston, who appears to be focusing on the petitioning process, received 8.8 percent of votes. Noel Ginsburg received 1.7 percent of votes while Erik Underwood received 0.4 percent. At least 6.5 percent of voters said they were uncommitted.

Overall, it was a big night for Democrats, who turned out enthusiastically to begin nominating delegates for larger assemblies. Colorado Democratic Party Chair Morgan Carroll thanked participants in a statement on Wednesday.

"Thank you to all of the voters who participated in this year's Colorado Democratic Caucus, and thank you to all of the volunteers and party officials who worked hard to make this year's caucus a success," Carroll said. “Tuesday's turnout -- which was stronger than turnout in both 2014 and 2010 -- shows that Democrats are fired up and motivated to elect Democrats up and down the ballot in 2018."

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