Nov 262006
 
Authors: Nikki Cristello The Rocky Mountain Collegian

John Kefalas and his supporters gathered at Avogadro’s Number Bar and Restaurant in Fort Collins Sunday for a victory bash after winning the Colorado House District 52 seat November 7.

“I owe college students a debt of gratitude,” Kefalas said. “Many of them in my district probably voted for me.”

Kefalas, a CSU alumnus, says he ran a “clean and honorable” race based on core democratic values. He beat out incumbent Bob McCluskey, by a mere 1600 votes – the largest margin a candidate has won by in 16 years.

Kefalas is only the fourth Democrat to win in the same time.

Some of the things Kefalas promises to do in the next two years include increasing financial aid to make college more accessible for all and maintaining a clean environment by using renewable energy.

Adam Brandon, a resident of Bellevue who worked for the campaign, said although he does not live in District 52 currently, he and his wife are excited to be moving back soon.

“It’s a good feeling to know that he’ll be representing Fort Collins when we move back,” Brandon said. “I think he is one of the most sincere and thoughtful people in the world.”

Kefalas greeted the flood of people and talked with anyone who would listen.

In his speech, Kefalas noted that the “turnout (was) a reflection of the community.”

He also said, “Winning an election to a public office is like winning the lottery; now all of a sudden I have a lot of friends!”

“While 52 percent of Larimer County citizens voted for me, 48 percent did not,” Kefalas said. “I need to represent everyone. All needs and aspirations.”

Katherine Yeager, a second year music performance graduate student said this was the first mid-term election she voted in. And her vote went to Kefalas.

“The mid-term elections were really energized this year,” Yeager said. “I felt that Larimer County needed a change of policy. So I decided to get out there and vote to try to make a difference.”

Kefalas, who stands at five foot-three inches, could hardly be seen over the podium at the Larimer Democratic Party headquarters on Election Night, asked his supporters to hold him accountable.

“I’m just one person,” he said. “And I’m a little guy at that.”

Staff writer Nikki Cristello can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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