On Wednesday, Nov. 29, Democrat Steve Ludwig was officially elected CU Regent at Large after a very close race against his Republican opponent, Brian Davidson.
On Tuesday afternoon, Ludwig claimed victory after a very careful vote count, and Wednesday afternoon, the Colorado Secretary of State Office confirmed the results with 637,154 votes for Ludwig and 631,344 votes for Davidson. The margin of victory was a mere .91 percent, according to the Colorado Secretary of State Office.
“The family and I went out for dinner, and I had a celebratory drink, but nothing out of the ordinary,” Ludwig said when asked what he did when he first found out about his victory.
Ludwig will be replacing incumbent Peter Steinhauer, who will be ‘termed out’ of office, and he will be working with Republican Steve Bosely as the Board of Regents has two at large positions. Republican Tillie Bishop from the 3rd Congressional District, and Kyle Hybl from the 5th Congressional District will also be joining the Board of Regents after the 2006 election.
Ludwig plans to attend the Board of Regents meetings on Monday and Tuesday of next week, but will be inaugurated as the CU Regent at Large on January 9, 2007.
After his inauguration, Ludwig said he wants CU to start working with K-12 schools to address the drop-out rates, which will then increase campus diversity.
“I have confidence that Steve Ludwig will work to increase the number of minority students here at CU, which we greatly need considering CU Boulder just received an ‘F’ rating in ethnic diversity, and a ‘D’ rating overall,” said Amy Hogue, president of the College Democrats, and a junior communication and Spanish major at CU.
Hogue also believes that having Ludwig in office for CU Regent at Large will have positive effects on the whole state of Colorado.
“Not many people realized this race was still going, or the importance of it to Coloradans, but the fact is that every Coloradan will benefit from having a responsible leader in the position of Regent at Large as Colorado’s economy depends on the education we provide,” Hogue said.
Representatives from the College Republicans did not return calls.
The Regent at Large race took three weeks to determine because of the close numbers, which are said to parallel the party leniency on Election day, Nov. 7.
“Once below the governor elections, all (of the races) are extremely close, showing that, on election day, there is a party leniency,” said political science professor Ken Bickers.
In lesser-known races such as for Regent at Large, many voters will vote based on the political party of the candidate because the issues and candidates are less known to the public.
“Basically (this race shows) that the Republicans and Democrats are knotted up (in Colorado),” Bickers said.
Bickers went on to say that because of other close races during this election, the close numbers represent more party leniency in Colorado, and not the public’s perspective of CU.