The race for Arapahoe County coroner remained too close to call with only 447 votes separating the candidates as of 11 a.m. on Nov. 3. A recount is …
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The race for Arapahoe County coroner remained too close to call
with only 447 votes separating the candidates as of 11 a.m. on Nov.
3. A recount is likely, according to Clerk and Recorder Nancy
With nearly 148,000 votes counted, incumbent Democrat Michael
Dobersen holds a narrow lead over Republican challenger Jay
“I’m just kind of numb,” Dobersen said of the highly contentious
race. “I’m so tired of this whole thing, but I have to keep waiting
and see how things turn out.”
Ledbetter, who had aggressively criticized Dobersen during the
campaign, says he is not sure why race remains the tightest one in
“It’s a squeaker, isn’t it?” he said. “I could
Monday-morning-quarterback this thing 100 different ways. Voters
make their decisions based on what they know. They look like
they’re split pretty evenly.”
It has been an uncharacteristically contentious coroner’s race
that touched on ethics, party affiliation and qualifications for
Dobersen, a physician and forensic pathologist, is one of only
four coroners in the state who is qualified to conduct
Attorney Ledbetter has argued that an attorney would be better
suited to manage the office. He also stressed his Republican party
The race heated up last month when Dobersen filed complaints
with the Colorado Attorney General’s Office and the Attorney
Regulation Council against Ledbetter.
Ledbetter literature had accused the sitting coroner of
manipulating evidence at trial. Ledbetter later retracted the
allegation and apologized to Dobersen in an e-mail.
Under Colorado law, it is a crime to knowingly or recklessly
make false statements to affect an election.
There are no legal requirements for county coroners in Colorado
so most of them appoint qualified medical examiners to conduct
autopsies. Most home-rule counties simply appoint coroners.
Statutory counties, like Arapahoe, are required to elect them in
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