Updated 1 p.m. Wednesday – Democratic incumbent University of Colorado Regent Stephen Ludwig had 47.2 percent of the vote compared to 45 percent for Republican challenger Brian Davidson, according to unofficial totals reported by the Department of State.
Ludwig, interviewed at a packed and noisy gathering of Democrats in downtown Denver, said the race was too close to call at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, when fewer votes had been tabulated.
He said he visited all 64 counties in his campaign for re-election but that “people don’t know what a regent is or what a regent does.”
In the contest for an open seat in the 3rd District, Democrat Jessica Garrow of Carbondale lost to Republican Glenn Gallegos. Democrat Irene Griego was successful in defense of her 7th District seat against Republican Mary Dambman. GOP incumbent Kyle Hybl didn’t have Democratic opposition in the 5th District.
Two seats for the State Board of Education also were on the ballot. In the 2nd District, incumbent Democrat Angelika Schroeder easily beat Republican Ann Fattor. In the 4th District, Republican Pamela Mazanec of Larkspur didn’t face a Democratic candidate.
The outcome of the election isn’t expected to alter the philosophical balance on the State Board of Education, given that Mazanec is unopposed and that three board Republicans and two Democrats are in the middle of their terms.
But board dynamics are expected to be different after the election because Republican Bob Schaffer, one of the panel’s most outspoken members, chose not to run again and will be leaving. Schaffer is a former congressman and unsuccessful GOP candidate for U.S. Senate.
The at-large regents race was an intramural bout – Ludwig is a CU-Colorado Springs grad and once worked in the university president’s office, and Davidson holds multiple CU degrees and works as a physician and faculty member at the university’s Anschutz Medical Center.
The race was also a grudge match because Ludwig beat Davidson by a very narrow margin in 2006.
In the 3rd District, Garrow, an Aspen city planner and a CU-Boulder graduate, ran a well-financed campaign against Gallegos, an executive for a family construction business who worked for more than 25 years as a teacher, coach, principal and instruction director in the Eagle and Mesa County school districts. He formerly served on the Mesa State board of trustees. The district has been represented by Republican former legislator Tilman Bishop of Grand Junction.
In the 7th District, Griego, a former principal and area superintendent in the Jeffco schools, was appointed last year to fill a vacancy on the Board of Regents. She has a bachelor’s degree from CU-Boulder and a doctorate from the Denver campus. Dambman, a former teacher, served three terms in the state House during the 1980s and was a member of the education committee.
Hybl is a Colorado Springs lawyer and civic leader who graduated from CU-Boulder and also received his law degree there. He has served two terms as chair of the regents.
State Board background
A former college professor of accounting, Schroeder was appointed to the SBE in 2008 and elected to a partial term in 2010. She was running for her first full term. She is a former member of the Boulder Valley School Board, various Colorado Association of Schools Boards committees and the Alliance for Quality Teaching.
Fattor, a self-employed graphic artist, is a former member of the Gilpin County school board and previously served as president of the CASB. She’s chair of the Gilpin County Republican Party.
As a Douglas County resident, Mazanec has been an active supporter of the conservative Douglas County school board in its efforts to create a voucher program and reduce the power of the teachers’ union.