COLORADO- McLaughlin has received 54.4% of the vote as of 9:40 p.m. Tuesday night
Gordon McLaughlin, the Democratic attorney with seven years in the county, has won the race for 8th Judicial District attorney, becoming the first Democratic DA in at least 50 years.
McLaughlin beat out Republican Mitch Murray, who has served as an attorney for the county for three decades. McLaughlin beat Murray by reaching 54.2% of the vote to Murray’s 45.8%, adding initial results from Larimer and Jackson county voters.
“I am just so humbled,” McLaughlin said. “I think conversations with this community I have had over the last year have really paid off.”
McLaughlin is a career prosecutor who has been a deputy district attorney in Larimer County for seven years. He has tried more than 60 criminal jury trials, including cases of first-degree murder.
McLaughlin received his bachelor’s degree in government from Cornell University and his law degree from the University of Colorado Law School. He has lived in Colorado for 11 years and has lived in Larimer County for seven years.
Murray, compared to McLaughlin, has over four times as much time in the county, serving as an attorney with the 8th Judicial District Attorney’s Office for 30 years and as assistant DA for Cliff Riedel for almost eight years.
McLaughlin will be the first Democrat to serve as 8th Judicial District DA since the 1970s. Cliff Riedel, who served from 2012 to 2020, Larry Abrahamson, who served from 2004 to 2012, and Stu VanMeveren, who served for 32 years before that, were all Republicans.
“This community was ready for change and I think they expressed that really loudly tonight,” McLaughlin said. “This was a huge expression that they were sick of the same old policies.”
McLaughlin said his first step going forward will be to open a line of communication to those who have been marginalized and “not given a fair shake” by the justice system.
“I am hoping to deliver on a lot of topics of conversations we had,” he said.
McLaughlin has stated that, as DA, he will create a “safer and more inclusive community,” through focuses on:
- Community outreach and engagement
- Transparency and accountability
- Community safety
- Reducing recidivism rates
- Bail reform
- Pragmatic resource allocation
He is also planning to “move criminal justice system into the 21st century” by increasing transparency and accountability in the justice system and allowing public review of data on charging, convictions and sentencing outcomes.
McLaughlin received several notable Democratic endorsements including congressman Joe Neguse and Sen. Michael Bennet, as well as Colorado’s Attorney General Phil Weiser and Loveland Mayor Jacki Marsh, among others.
Murray said he hopes that McLaughlin will continue to work for justice for the people of the 8th Judicial District.
“I hope the best for the office and … I wish him well in that job,” Murray said. “It will be a challenge and he will have his work cut out for him, but there are a lot of good people in that office.”
Murray also thanked all his supporters and said he appreciated the help people provided to the campaign, adding that “we will move forward.”
Austin Fleskes for the Loveland Reporter-Herald