COLORADO, USA — The balance of power in the Colorado General Assembly was on the line Tuesday as Republicans hoped to gain a majority in the state Senate from Democrats, which would split control of the two legislative chambers.
As of this writing at 7:20 a.m., Democrats control the state House 41-24. According to the latest results, it appears two seats are changing parties but that's won't impact the overall balance. Democrats picked up District 38, with the race called for Democrat David Ortiz. Republicans appear to be taking over District 47, although a winner has not been declared in that race between Democrat incumbent Bri Buentello and Republican Stephanie Luck.
In the Senate, Democrats appear to be picking up two seats, giving them a 21-14 majority.
Going into the election, Democrats held a strong majority in the state House, 41-24.
Democrats held a much narrower majority, 19-16, in the state Senate.
Of the Senate’s 35 seats, 18 are up for election or re-election. If two of those seats swing from Democrat to Republican, that would give the GOP control of the chamber, assuming the current Republican seats remain held by Republicans.
Here are the latest results in the Senate races to watch:
Every seat in the state House and half the seats in the state Senate are up for election or re-election. Since Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) took office in 2019, he has had a Democratic majority in the House and Senate.
Between 2011-2019, when Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-Colorado) was the top executive, the state legislature was split except for two years. In 2013-14, the House and Senate were controlled by Democrats.
Having a split legislature can put an additional check and balance in place from one party having complete control. Polis and Democrats in the legislature don't always agree, but much of what the Polis has wanted to achieve has been possible because Democrats have controlled both chambers.
That includes free full-day kindergarten and a red flag law, revamped the oil and gas commission, banned the death penalty and most recently, approved sweeping police reform.
House members serve two-year terms and can serve as many as four consecutive terms. Senate members serve four-year terms and can serve as many as two consecutive terms. A lawmaker can run for House or Senate, even after exhausting consecutive term limits, after taking four years off.
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