Election 2018

Democrats take state Senate, grow House lead

As Dems take several state offices, power shifts in Legislature

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The much-mentioned “blue wave” broke on the state Capitol on Nov. 6, sending the Democrats a three-seat advantage in the 35-member state Senate and more power in the state House.

Nineteen Democrats will serve in the Senate when the 2019 legislative session begins in January, including Tammy Story in Jefferson County, current state House Rep. Jessie Danielson in Jefferson County and current Rep. Faith Winter in Adams County, according to a news release from the Senate Democrats. Those seats were previously held by Republicans or an Independent.

“Every Coloradan, whether you are a Democrat, Independent or Republican, has reason to celebrate,” state Sen. Leroy Garcia said in the release. Voters “have elected leaders who will stand up for our children, for our environment and for the health, safety and prosperity of every Coloradan.”

Current Senate President Kevin Grantham, a Republican from Cañon City, congratulated the new governor-elect, Democrat Jared Polis, and other lawmakers who won races in the Nov. 6 election in a statement Nov. 7.

“It's never fun losing races or being in the political minority,” Grantham said. “But because Colorado remains at heart a centrist state, where common-sense economic and fiscal values still hold great sway, Republicans still have a critical role to play at the Statehouse, by ensuring that a diversity of views are heard and serving as a check on the excesses we might see if Democrats see their advantage as an opportunity to run wild.”

In the state House, Democrats expanded their majority, declaring victory in three seats previously held by Republicans, according to a Nov. 7 news release by House Democrats. Lisa Cutter in Jefferson County, Kyle Mullica in Adams County and Tom Sullivan in Arapahoe County took those spots. Sullivan unseated incumbent Republican Rep. Cole Wist in House District 37, a Republican stronghold in Centennial and nearby areas.

“We were successful tonight because we listened to the hopes and concerns of voters (at their) doors, at their kitchen tables and in their communities,” House Majority Leader KC Becker, D-Boulder, said in the release. “Now, it's time to work together to put the values of hardworking Coloradans into action.”

With results still coming in that morning, the 65-member House looked likely to hold at least 38 Democrats, and with four close races at that time, the number could rise to 42, the release said.

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