DENVER — Republicans will control the Colorado state senate for the first time in a decade when the legislature reconvenes in January.
Senate Democrats conceded their 18-17 majority has flipped to an 18-17 GOP edge Saturday morning after Adams County finally finished counting ballots in the lone remaining undecided senate contest.
In District 24, Republican Beth Martinez-Humenik held on to beat former Democratic state Rep. Judy Solano by 876 votes, providing Senate Republicans their 18th seat in the 35-member chamber.
The fight for the Senate stretched well beyond Election Day after Republicans won two competitive races in Jefferson County, unseating Democratic Sens. Rachel Zenzinger of Arvada and Jeanne Nicholson of Blackhawk, but lost the two seats it captured in last fall’s recall elections in Pueblo and Colorado Springs.
Republican Senators Bernie Herpin of Colorado Springs and George Rivera of Pueblo couldn’t hold on to their Democrat-leaning districts even in amidst a broad GOP wave.
Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman, R-Colorado Springs, is likely to be elevated to Senate President by his caucus. Cadman released a statement on the election results:
“On behalf of an amazing campaign team, my committed senate colleagues and all of our hard-working candidates, I want to thank the people of Colorado for giving us this historic opportunity. The Republican Senate Caucus is eager to move Colorado forward on so many important issues, and away from the extraordinary divisiveness of recent years. We are here to serve common interests, not special interests.”
“The Senate Democrats plan to move forward in the fight for good jobs, a high-quality education, affordable college, and a secure retirement,” said a statement from Senate Democrats Saturday morning. “It is up to the new Republican leadership to decide if they share those priorities as well.