© 2024
NPR for Northern Colorado
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Colorado Democrats Regain Control of Statehouse


Republicans had hoped to expand their one-seat advantage in the statehouse, but Democrats now have control of both chambers of the Colorado state legislature, putting the GOP in the backseat when it comes to next legislative session.

Democrats picked up at least 2 seats in the House and will hold a majority in that chamber when the legislature convenes next January. Democrats are expected to elect House minority leader Mark Ferrandino Denver as their next speaker.

Ferrandino says economic development will be the top priority.

“Thanks to each and every one of you, for the work that you’ve done, the dollars you’ve donated, the doors you’ve knocked. We can proudly put back Democrats in the majority of the house of representatives.”

Ferrandino would be Colorado’s first openly gay speaker of the house. He’s well liked on both sides of the aisle, and last legislative session was a main sponsor of a bill to create civil unions. The measure failed on the final night of the last session after a Republican led filibuster on the chamber floor. Democrats including Ferrandino have vowed to pass civil unions.

“We are not going to run the house like it was run last year. We’re going to run it so the people of Colorado can be proud of their house of representatives.”

Republican speaker of the house Frank McNulty of Highlands Ranch says he’s proud of how hard Republican candidates worked. He says the strength of the Democratic presidential ground game hurt the GOP.

“We knew Colorado was going to be close. We knew these races are going to be close.” 

Democrats also held onto their majority in the state senate. It’s been two years since Democrats controlled both legislative chambers and the Governor’s office.

Bente Birkeland has been reporting on state legislative issues for KUNC and Rocky Mountain Community Radio since 2006. Originally, from Minnesota, Bente likes to hike and ski in her spare time. She keeps track of state politics throughout the year but is especially busy during the annual legislative session from January through early May.
Related Content