Jeanne Nicholson
Jeanne Nicholson

Five hundred and eighteen votes still separate the two candidates running for the open seat in Senate District 16, a mountainous area that lies directly west of Boulder and reaches up into Summit County.

The Republican, Tim Leonard, who is trailing Democrat Jeanne Nicholson, issued a news release Thursday saying that he and his campaign are waiting for the six counties in which the district lies to finish counting ballots.

"We have gotten little sleep in the last 24 hours making sure all voters are counted," he wrote. "This is a closer race than I expected."

Several county clerks in the district told the Camera on Thursday that counting provisional ballots could take several more days.

Tim Leonard
Tim Leonard

The current vote totals show Nicholson with 29,968 votes and Leonard with 29,450. Democrats will retain control of the Colorado Senate regardless of the outcome in Senate District 16.

Republicans are on the cusp of taking back control of the Colorado House of Representatives -- their majority status in the chamber depends on the outcome of a House race in Arvada that is still too close to call.

Nicholson told the Camera that she planned to attend the orientation session for new lawmakers at the State Capitol on Thursday.

Leonard said he had no plans to go to the orientation and was more concerned that the all the votes be counted.