Democratic State Rep. Tim Hernández Trailing Business-Backed Primary Challenger

Early primary election results on Tuesday showed incumbent state Rep. Tim Hernández trailing challenger Cecelia Espenoza in the race for the Democratic nomination in Colorado’s House District 4, which covers northwest Denver. With 8,291 votes counted as of 10 p.m., Espenoza led with nearly 55% of the vote, according to results from the secretary of state’s office. Hernández was appointed to the seat in 2023 after former state Rep.

Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez resigned from the Legislature to take a spot on Denver City Council. Espenoza was also a candidate during that vacancy committee process, but fell short to Hernández.

Tim Hernández campaign

An educator and community organizer, Hernández ran legislation this year to create a Chicano special license plate and further support children in the juvenile justice system. He also sponsored a bill to prohibit semi-automatic weapons in Colorado, which passed the House for the first time this year but was defeated in a Senate committee.

He was endorsed by many current lawmakers including Senate Majority Leader Robert Rodriguez, House Assistant Majority Leader Jennifer Bacon, and Sen. Julie Gonzales. He also had organizational endorsements from the Denver chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, Colorado Working Families Party, Colorado Education Association, and Colorado AFL-CIO.

Espenoza is a former appellate judge. She was endorsed by Senate President Steve Fenberg and Sen. Dafna Michaelson Jenet and by organizations including the Colorado Medical Society and the Colorado Chamber of Commerce. The winner of the District 4 primary will run in the general election against Jack Daus, who ran unopposed in the Republican primary. It is a safe Democratic seat and has been represented by the party since 2010.


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