The race for Colorado’s newest seat in the U.S. House of Representatives proved as competitive as expected Tuesday night.

As of midnight, unofficial results showed Democratic state Rep. Yadira Caraveo holding onto a narrow lead over Republican state Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer in the 8th Congressional District. The race remained too close to call, multiple news agencies said.

The new 8th District was created as a result of the 2020 census, which awarded Colorado an additional House seat as a result of population growth in a process known as reapportionment. The district includes parts of north metro Denver and extends north to Greeley and other parts of southern Weld County.

Heading into Election Day, several major nonpartisan analysts rated Kirkmeyer as the favorite in the race, reflecting favorable odds for Republicans aiming to recapture control of the House in a challenging midterm election year for Democrats.

But Caraveo, a pediatrician from Thornton, led Kirkmeyer by 2.4 percentage points with 174,360 votes cast, the latest unofficial tally showed. The Democrat held a strong lead in portions of the district located within Adams County, while Kirkmeyer, a longtime fixture in northern Colorado politics, maintained an advantage in Weld County results.

For the first time in state history, the once-a-decade process to draw new district boundaries was overseen by an Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission, as approved by voters through a pair of 2018 constitutional amendments.

As drawn by the independent commission, the 8th District is the state’s most evenly split congressional district by party affiliation, and is home to the highest percentage of Latino voters.

The 8th District race is by far Colorado’s most expensive congressional race in the 2022 election cycle, with the two candidates’ campaigns and allied super PACs spending a total of more than $20 million to influence voters.

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