Democrat Diana DeGette easily swept to victory in Colorado’s 1st Congressional District race, with the muscle of Democratic voting numbers in her Denver base helping her overwhelm Republican challenger Danny Stroud.
Early results on Election Day showed DeGette swamping Stroud about 68 percent to 28 percent, with the remainder of the vote going to Libertarian and Green candidates.
DeGette was beating Stroud 74 percent to 22 percent in Denver. In the much smaller Arapahoe County portion of the district, DeGette was pulling about 56 percent of the vote to 39 percent.
DeGette, widely expected to win throughout the course of the race, drew nearly $1 million in campaign contributions, while Stroud’s campaign reported donations of a little more than $15,000.
DeGette’s district includes all of Denver, plus Englewood, Sheridan, Cherry Hills Village and Glendale.
DeGette, born in Japan to a military family but raised in Colorado, has won all nine of her runs for Congress. The former state lawmaker from Denver first won election to the seat in 1996, when Democrat Pat Schroeder decided not to seek a 13th term.
Stroud is the president of Veraz Ventures, described on his website as an operation that “helps companies that are distressed from Balance Sheet issues (over-leveraged, hostile lenders, etc.) work out re-capitalization plans.”
Stroud, an Oregon native and longtime Colorado resident, ran unsuccessfully for the state House in 2010, then became chairman of the Denver Republican Party until stepping down in May to run against DeGette.
DeGette is the longest-serving member of Colorado’s current congressional delegation and serves as the Democrats’ chief deputy whip. She has put considerable effort into legislation to expand stem cell research, which passed twice but was vetoed by President George W. Bush.
DeGette played a large part in the 2010 passage of the Affordable Care Act and has been an outspoken backer of abortion rights.
Denver has a 2-1 ratio of registered Democrats to registered Republicans, and 45 percent of voters in the 1st Congressional District are registered Democrats, the highest number of any Colorado district. With those registration numbers and the power of incumbency, DeGette could be on track to keep her job as long as she wants it.