Colorado SpringsElection 2018News

Republican nominee for Colorado House seat withdraws

Author: Conrad Swanson, The Gazette - July 6, 2018 - Updated: July 6, 2018

Jillian Likness. (Doug Fitzgerald)

Barely a week after winning the Republican nomination in the race for the Colorado Springs-area House District 18, Jillian Likness announced Friday that she is withdrawing from the November election.

“Due to the demands and my current health condition, I do not feel that I can give my district 100% to win this seat,” Likness said in a statement. “I am extremely saddened by this decision and it was not made easily; but I will support the Republican nominee that will be selected at the upcoming vacancy committee meeting.”

Likness could not immediately be reached for comment. She was set to run against Democrat Marc Snyder, who won his party’s nomination with about 54 percent of the more than 7,000 votes cast in the primary that ended June 26.

> COPO SPECIAL REPORT: Colorado 2018 primary roundup

House District 18 encompasses downtown Colorado Springs and extends west to Manitou Springs.

The district seat is being vacated by Rep. Pete Lee, D-Colorado Springs, who is running for the Colorado Senate District 11 seat left empty by retiring Democrat Mike Merrifield.

Now, GOP precinct leaders have 10 days to fill Likness’ spot, said Cassandra Sebastian, executive director of El Paso County’s Republican Party. In that time, anyone interested in running can throw their hat into the ring. Instructions on how to do that will be released soon, she said. Then, the potential candidates will each address the district’s vacancy committee.

“They’ll have 2 to 3 minutes to speak as a candidate before a vote, (and) sometimes you’ll have a runoff vote,” Sebastian said.

A majority of votes from the precinct leaders will then decide the next Republican nomination.

“That new person will be our candidate and the party as a whole will support that candidate 110 percent,” Sebastian said.

The chairman for House District 18 could not immediately be reached for comment.

Mark Harden

Mark Harden is managing editor of Colorado Politics. He previously was news director at the Denver Business Journal; city editor, online news editor, state editor, national editor and popular music critic at The Denver Post; and an editor and reporter at newspapers in the Seattle area and San Francisco.