Joe Neguse cruised to victory in the Democratic primary race for the 2nd Congressional District on Tuesday night, setting the stage to become Colorado's first African American congressman should he defeat his Republican and independent challengers this fall.
Colorado Secretary of State voting totals, as of 4 a.m. Wednesday, had Neguse with about 66 percent of the vote over 33 percent for Mark Williams, a Boulder resident and former Boulder County Democratic Party chairman. More than 110,000 votes had been counted, with 90 percent of counties reporting.
Williams couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday night.
Though he is running in a heavily Democratic district, Neguse, a former University of Colorado regent and former director of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, said Tuesday that he is going to continue to work hard up to November because the 2016 election showed that no election should be taken for granted.
"There are a lot of pressing challenges and problems facing our country right now," he said. "I'm excited at the opportunity to potentially be a part of solving them."
Broomfield businessman Peter Yu is running unopposed for the Republican nomination. Independent candidate Nick Thomas, of Boulder, also will be on the general election ballot.
The candidates are seeking a soon-to-be-vacant spot left by the exit of current Rep. Jared Polis. Polis didn't seek reelection because so he could seek the the Democratic nomination for Colorado
governor, which he won Tuesday night. He has represented the state's 2nd Congressional District since 2009.
Neguse received 90 percent of delegate votes at the Democrats' 2nd Congressional District Assembly in April. Williams bypassed that process and petitioned for a spot on the ballot through the Colorado Secretary of State's Office.
Last week, Williams charged that national and Colorado Democratic Party "insiders" have been meddling in the primary contest to tip the scales in favor of Neguse, in part because former Vice President Joe Biden endorsed Neguse.
Neguse's campaign has disagreed with Williams' take on the matter and contends that Neguse earned the endorsement.
The 2nd Congressional District includes most of Boulder County, all of Broomfield and all or parts of Clear Creek, Eagle, Gilpin, Grand, Jefferson, Larimer and Summit counties.
The general election will be Nov. 6.