DENVER (AP) – Colorado Republicans hope to erase Democrats’ one-seat majority in the state Senate on Tuesday and cut into, if not overturn, the Democrats’ 37-28 majority in the House. Some key races:
IN THE SENATE
There are eight competitive Senate races. Democrats need to win six to keep their majority.
Four are in Jefferson County. Democratic Sen. Andy Kerr faces Republican Tony Sanchez; Democrat Cheri Jahn faces Republican Larry Queen; Sen. Rachel Zenzinger faces Republican Laura Woods; and Sen. Jeanne Nicholson is up against Republican Tim Neville.
To the south, two Senate Republicans – George Rivera in Pueblo and Bernie Herpin in Colorado Springs – replaced Democrats through recalls over gun-control measures. They face Democrats Leroy Garcia Jr. and Michael Merrifield, respectively.
There are two open seats being vacated by term-limited Democrats Lois Tochtrop in Thornton and Sen. Gail Schwartz in Snowmass Village. In Thornton, Democrat Judy Solano faces the GOP’s Beth Martinez Humenik. In Snowmass Village, Democrat Kerry Donovan faces Republican Don Suppes.
IN THE HOUSE
While reversing the Democratic advantage might seem like a heavy lift for Republicans, Democrats pulled off a similar feat two years ago, going from a one-seat minority to the current majority.
At least nine House races are considered competitive, with incumbent Democrats running for re-election. They include Rep. Mike McLachlan in Durango; Rep. Dianne Primavera in Broomfield; Rep. Tony Exum in Colorado Springs; Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp in Arvada; and Rep. Brittany Pettersen in Lakewood. Each was elected two years ago.
Democrats have enacted gun control measures, lowered tuition for students who are in the country illegally, passed civil unions and set renewable energy standards for rural cooperatives. They insist those laws will win voters.
But Republicans unseated two Democrats in recall votes over their gun-control stands. They’re banking on more of the same on Tuesday.
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– By Ivan Moreno, AP Writer
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