Richard Murray bested fellow Highlands Ranch Republican Priscilla Rahn by nearly a 2-1 margin in the party primary race to decide who will face the Democratic opponent for the University of Colorado Board of Regents seat that represents the 6th Congressional District.
The mail-ballot primary election ended June 30. In unofficial results at 8 a.m. MT on July 1, Murray had 65.3% of the vote to Rahn's 34.7%
The board of regents consists of nine members: one from each of Colorado's seven congressional districts and two from the state at large. It oversees CU's four campuses — Boulder, Colorado Springs, Denver and the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora — and controls their budgets.
Murray will face Democrat Ilana Spiegel in November's general election. Incumbent Regent John Carson, a Highlands Ranch Republican elected in 2014, did not seek a second term.
The unofficial results suggest Murray may face a tough fight in November. The two GOP candidates pulled a combined 59,531 votes in July 1 unofficial results, while Democrat Spiegel garnered 99,687 votes.
The 6th Congressional District includes some or all of Centennial, Aurora, Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Greenwood Village, Brighton and northern Thornton, among other nearby areas. In Congress it is represented by Jason Crow, a Democrat.
Murray -- a two-time alumnus of CU Boulder, where he earned undergraduate and law degrees, and a former "tri-executive" in the campus student body government there -- claimed victory in a Facebook post and a news release on election night.
“From the very beginning of our campaign, I made it clear that this race is personal for me,” Murray said in the release. “The University of Colorado has had a huge impact on shaping the direction of almost every aspect of my personal and professional life. As we now move into the general election, I take this opportunity to give back to CU as a Regent as both a great responsibility and a tremendous honor.”
When asked what issue should top the board of regents' agenda in 2021, Murray said that in the face of COVID-19, the financial well-being of the CU system and the financial impact on its students should be the highest priority.
“Fortunately, tuition costs will remain flat for a second year for most CU students, but the COVID-19 pandemic could cause CU to lose more than $1 billion in revenue,” Murray said in Colorado Community Media's questionnaire. “The board needs to work closely with the administration on solutions to weather this storm so CU comes out more innovative, more efficient and stronger. I've overseen multimillion-dollar budgets and I am prepared to get to work on day one.”
One recent board decision Murray disagreed with: The regents' holding back on making civics a graduation requirement.
“Our republic needs its citizenry to be well-educated on civics and the rights of the people, and how our republic should operate,” Murray said in the questionnaire.
Murray, an attorney, lives in Highlands Ranch.
“I want to thank Priscilla Rahn for her efforts during the Republican primary. I admire her passion for public education and I look forward to her support as we move forward and win the general election in November,” Murray said in the release.
Rahn, a teacher and small-business owner with a master's degree in education administration, comes from a Korean and Black family. With an Army vet father, she grew up living all over the world.
In an election-night post on Facebook, Rahn thanked her supporters.
“I worked really hard to represent the students and families of CD6 but clearly God has other plans for me and I'm looking forward to what that is! I congratulated Richard Murray for winning the primary and I know this win means so much to him,” Rahn wrote. “I hope you all stay involved in education issues and continue to advocate for the things you value.”
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