Why you should be following Colorado State Senate races

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DENVER -- With a week to go before election day there are many political races in Colorado to follow. There are controversial races for Governor and Congress -- not to mention statewide ballot measures.

But the one race you are not following that you should be is the battle for Colorado State Senate.

Why is this race so important?

Presently, Democrats control the Governor's office and the State House of Representatives. Republicans presently control the State Senate by one vote.

If polls stay true, Democrats will likely stay in control of those offices and chambers and if the State Senate is "flipped" Democrats could pass, in theory, whatever they want into law.

On Monday, FOX31 hit the trail in Senate District 24, a race between incumbent Republican Senate Beth Martinez Humenik and Rep. Faith Winter, who is running to replace Humenik.

The race is arguably one of the closest Senate contests. If Winter wins, Democrats could take back the State Senate. Martinez Humenik won election in 2014 by less than 1000 votes.

"I want to deliver for them," Winter told FOX31 Political Reporter Joe St. George.

"It has just been crazy this year - I can tell you I have worn out the tread on two pairs of shoes," Martinez Humenick said.

The spending in this race looks more like a US Senate race than a State Senate contest. Both campaigns estimate millions have been spent on both sides. TV commercials have been airing statewide because the vote is so significant and candidates have actually had to apologize to voters because there have been so many flyers in their mailbox.

"They are not coming from me they are coming from outside groups," Martinez Humenik said, commenting on the dark money in the race.

"There have been negative TV ads against me since Labor Day," Winter said.

From a biography stand point both candidates are very similiar. Both were elected in 2014 to the General Assembly for the first time. Both served on city councils in Thorton and Westminster respectively before that --- and both want to win.

"We need checks and balances in the legislature,"  Martinez Humenik said.

"I think our Senate leadership has been out of step with Colorado values," Winters added.

We should note if Winter loses, Democrats still have other opportunities to pick up a seat -- challenging other Republican State Senate incumbents in Jefferson County and elsewhere.

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