Republican Mike Coffman may want to send a thank-you letter to the voters of Highlands Ranch.
In a tightly contested race with Democratic challenger Joe Miklosi for the newly redrawn Congressional District 6, votes from Douglas County are sending the incumbent back to Washington. Coffman got 49 percent of the vote to Miklosi’s 45 percent, with the rest going to Libertarian and unaffiliated candidates.
Unofficial results on the morning of Nov. 7 showed Coffman getting about 11,542 more votes than Miklosi districtwide. Coffman’s margin was biggest in Douglas County, where he got 12,886 more votes than Miklosi. In Adams County, Coffman only managed 884 more votes than Miklosi. In Arapahoe County, where the bulk of the district’s population lives, Miklosi got 2,228 more votes than Coffman.
Coffman accepted the seat around 10:30 p.m. Nov. 6, more than two hours before Miklosi conceded the race.
As Coffman appeared on stage at Sports Authority Field at Mile High to thank his supporters for electing him to his third term, Democrats at Miklosi’s election-watch party in Aurora were stunned. Following Coffman’s speech, Arapahoe Democratic Chairman John Buckley spoke to Miklosi’s supporters at the Red Lion Hotel.
“The votes that have been tabulated so far are predominantly the early votes,” Buckley said. “We all know that there was a tremendous Democratic turnout today in the 6th Congressional District, specifically in Arapahoe County. At 8 p.m. we still had voters in line at many polling locations.”
Miklosi never made an appearance at his own party to address supporters and campaign workers, but shortly after 1 a.m. he issued the following statement after calling Coffman to congratulate him on his victory.
“This campaign was about representing the middle class, creating quality jobs and ensuring Coloradans have the opportunity to achieve their own unique version of the American Dream,” Miklosi wrote. “Even though we weren’t victorious, the work that goes into making sure all Coloradans are fairly represented never ends.”
Earlier in the night, Coffman said he hoped that by working across the aisle in a bipartisan effort to cut wasteful spending, he would be able to earn the trust of those who did not vote for him.
“The results of this election tonight do not change the dramatic challenges that our country faces,” he said. “With stubbornly high unemployment, far too many families are still struggling under this sluggish economic recovery. In Congress I will continue to work hard on behalf of small businesses to reduce their taxes and regulatory burdens so that they will lift this economy up and create the jobs necessary to restore economic prosperity.”
Coffman, who served for 20 years in the military, also said he plans to work hard on behalf of veterans, making it a priority to see that they get the mental health services needed for the prevention and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.