Democrat Meghan Lukens wins race for Colorado House District 26, Wolfson concedes

Dylan Anderson
Steamboat Pilot & Today
Meghan Lukens, a candidate for Colorado House of Representatives, smiles after learning that she held a lead over Savannah Wolfson in the race for House District 26 while attending a Democratic watch party at the Otto Pint, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022 in Steamboat Springs.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Democrat Meghan Lukens will represent Northwest Colorado in Colorado House District 26, after Republican opponent Savannah Wolfson conceded the race at about 10:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

The first-time candidate ran up leads in Routt and Eagle counties, larger than the margins her Republican opponent Savannah Wolfson was gaining in Rio Blanco and Moffat counties. Lukens was leading the race 18,940 to 15,779 votes late Tuesday, a lead of more than 3,100 votes.

Earlier in the night, Lukens said she was feeling optimistic about the race.

“I hope to advocate for the wonderful, hard working people in the state legislature to really get results for all of us,” Lukens said.

Lukens, a teacher at Steamboat Springs High School who grew up in Steamboat, focused her campaign around what she called the “three Es” — education, the environment and the economy.

Lukens said she thought her message was resonating with voters, in addition to her being pro-choice in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade earlier this year.

“Folks want to send a local teacher to the state legislature,” Lukens said. “I think also electing a pro-choice candidate is important, as that’s what I was hearing time and time again.”

Wolfson, a mom from Oak Creek, focused much or her campaign on affordability in the largely rural district, a strategy that she credited for helping her win the Republican Primary in June. Wolfson had gained more than 80% of the vote in both of the district’s western counties.

“We had a solid volunteer team who texted, door knocked, made calls and wrote over 6,000 postcards, Wolfson said in a text to Steamboat Pilot & Today at 10:45 p.m. Tuesday. “I wore out three pairs of shoes door knocking and made more than 23,000 individual phone calls. Clearly, there was nothing more that could be done.”

“I wish Meghan well and concede the race to her,” Wolfson continued.

The race was expected to be one of the closest in the state since new state legislative maps were drawn in October 2021. Through that process, an independent redistricting commission added Republican-dominated Moffat and Rio Blanco counties to the district and cut parts of Eagle County in the Roaring Fork Valley out of the district.

Based on eight statewide elections, the commission used to gauge competitiveness, the new district leaned slightly toward Democrats by just over two percentage points. A key focus for candidates has been courting unaffiliated voters, who make up a significant number of voters in the district.

In Routt County, where both candidates are from, Lukens was nearly doubling up Wolfson’s vote total, leading 8,148 votes to 4,214 as of 9:45 p.m. Tuesday.

“That makes me happy just to have such amazing support,” Lukens said. “This is the town, the county, that I grew up in, live in, and work in and I love this community so much.”

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