The race for House District 59 is at last at a definitive close. After almost two weeks of praying, hoping and searching for more ballots, on Thursday, Democrat Mike McLachlan conceded to Republican challenger J. Paul Brown.
In a brief interview, McLachlan said he would not seek a recount.
“I’m done,” he said.
In a telephone interview Thursday afternoon, Brown, who was in Denver for new legislator orientation, said he didn’t begrudge McLachlan for taking his time to concede.
“He called to congratulate me today around noon,” Brown said. “I thanked him for his service, and told him I appreciated his calling,” Brown said.
“Last time, when I lost, it took me a long time to concede. I kind of apologized for doing that, and I don’t hold it against him at all, because if you think there’s a chance – but he told me today he just got the final numbers from the secretary of state,” Brown said.
The race was one of the state’s tightest.
According to the secretary of state’s unofficial election results, McLachlan got 17,106 votes, or 49.76 percent, while Brown ultimately triumphed with 17,274, or 50.24 percent.
Brown’s margin of victory – just 168 votes out of the 34,380 total votes cast district wide – was narrow. McLachlan would have needed to be within 84 votes of Brown to meet the recount threshold, and he wasn’t close.
In the early afternoon, McLachlan sent news outlets, friends and family a news release announcing his concession.
“Now that all the votes cast are counted and the results are final, I have conceded the election to J. Paul Brown and congratulated him on his hard-fought win. His victory, though by the slimmest of margins, 168 out of 34,380 votes, is a victory nonetheless,” he wrote.
He thanked his wife, Barbara, “for her hard work on this campaign and for being my best supporter in this election, and in my life. I also thank my campaign managers Matt Sheldon and P.J. Higgins, and all the volunteers, friends, voters, and family who worked so hard for me.”
McLachlan did not share plans for the future, saying, “I hope to continue my record of public service to the people of Colorado in the future. God bless America and God bless the people of the State of Colorado.”