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November 04, 2010 06:27 AM UTC

CO Legislative Balance Still Uncertain

  • by: IndyNinja

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

POLS UPDATE: As uncertain as remaining math may be, we’ve received word that HD-33 Rep. Dianne Primavera has conceded defeat to GOP opponent Don Beezley. Also, Speaker of the House Terrance Carroll has reportedly offered his congratulations to Rep. Frank McNulty for capturing majority control of the Colorado House. Clearly, they know something definitive that we’ll all know soon enough.


The Democrats managed to hold off challenges to all but one of their state Senate seats in Tuesdays election, leaving them firmly in control with a 20-15 majority.

As the results currently stand, Democrats who previously held a 37-27-1 majority in the house have now slipped into a 33-32 minority. However, with oversees and provisional ballots left to count, three races that are currently showing a Republican win could still flip if the uncounted ballot swing the right way. If even one of them manages to squeek ahead, the Democrats will be back at the wheel for 2011.

The three house races still in question are:

HD 29 Debbie Benefield (D) vs Robert Ramerez (R)

Current spread: 12,057 – 12,278 = 221 votes

HD 33 Dianne Primavera (D) vs Donald Beezley (R)

Current spread: 17,029 – 17,434 = 405 votes

HD 38 Joe Rice (D) vs Kathleen Conti (R)

Current spread 12,496 – 13,453 = 957 votes

Most news sources are still reporting these races as not yet decided, but that didn’t stop Rep. Frank McNulty and the other House GOP from holding their victory press conference and laying out their agenda for next year.

If I were Rep. Mcnulty, I would hold off on buying decorations for his new office until the final votes are in on those three.

If the Dems manage to pull off a miracle and retain control of the house, the party will have complete conrol over the redistricting committee (members abointed by Legislature, Governor and Supreme Court) and will decide how the lines are redrawn for the 2012 election. Most likely to be effected by this is House Disrict 39, which has almost twice the registered votes of the average district, and the surrounding districts (41, 42, 37, 38, 9), which are likely to annex parts of 39. If the R’s have a say, they might use that as an opportuniy to weaken the D’s in district 9 (Miklosi) or to fortify the newly conquered district 38 (Joe Rice). But if the Dems keep sole control of the committee, the reverse is far more likely.

Needless to say, a lot rides on the fate of the straggling results.


19 thoughts on “CO Legislative Balance Still Uncertain

  1. That’s done by a bipartisan committee, with the ultimate balance of power being appointees from the Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court.  control of either or both chambers makes no difference as to the number of

    Rs or Ds on that committee.  

    I’m noting saying the committee is above politics, far from it.  but the constititional amendment by the league of women voters and common cause was constructed to leave the legislative ones balanced so the court appointees (some of who were quite partisan) had balance of power.


    Where the makeup of the lege still counts is in terms of Congressional redistricting, which is outside the scope of that amendment.   Dems controlling both houses and the gov. might try to pull a “midnight gerrymander” (without the shenanigans of that infamous power grab by John Andrews” and recarve the seven seats to give themselves a odds in 3rd or 4th Cds.  .  

    1. Colorado Constitution, Article 5, Section 48(1)(b)

      The four legislative members shall be the speaker of the house of representatives, the minority leader of the house of representatives, and the majority and minority leaders of the senate, or the designee of any such officer to serve in his or her stead, which acceptance of service or designation shall be made no later than April 15 of the year following that in which the federal census is taken. The three executive members shall be appointed by the governor between April 15 and April 25 of such year, and the four judicial members shall be appointed by the chief justice of the Colorado supreme court between April 25 and May 5 of such year.

      Now, as many of you may know, the Chief Justice position is vacant since Mary Mullarky resigned. The appointment of a new chief justice will obviously hold a lot of bearing in the outcome of the reapportionment committee. The Governor’s choice to fill that position must be confirmed by the Senate. So we can be grateful that the Dems held there.

      1. Her term was up and I think she just declined to seek retention.  That means she stays in office until January.  Also, while the gov will appoint to the vacancy on the court created by her departure, he will not name a chief justice.  The chief justice is chosen by the court itself, among its members, which is unlike the U.S., Supremes, where the prez does indeed pick the chief justice.

        1. I don’t think the Senate confirms judicial appointments.  A merit selection committee gives three names to the gov., who appoints from that list.   There is no confirmation.

          The appointee serves at least two years and then stands for retension for a full term, which IIRC is ten years for the Supreme Court.

          since we are already past the 2010 election, I assume the new Justice will face a retention election in 2014.

    2. Colroado Consitution – Article V, Section 44

      The general assembly shall divide the state into as many congressional districts as there are representatives in congress apportioned to this state by the congress of the United States for the election of one representative to congress from each district. When a new apportionment shall be made by congress, the general assembly shall divide the state into congressional districts accordingly.

      So yes, having control of both houses of the state legislature would make a big difference, since the body as a whole is charged without stipulation.

  2. Best place to grab the accurate ones would be directly from the relevant county clerk’s websites.

    All returns are now in for HD33 and Primavera has called Beezley.  The lead changed from 315 this morning to a current 330.  Military ballots and an extremely small amount of provisionals remain outstanding.

    Probably safe to call this one for Beezley now as no precincts remain outstanding.

    1. Jefferson County (where HD 29 and Benefield reside) is way behind on online updates.

      What’s more, according the people at the Arapahoe County office, provisional and oversees ballot are not included in the

      “precincts reporting” percentage and will not be reflected in the totals until the final certification. But the person I was talking to didn’t seem totally confident when she said that.

  3. …if the uncounted ballot swing the right way…

     Go any further “right” and it only gets worse for you.  Not to worry, one of Bueschers last acts was to try as hard as possible to avoid getting military overseas ballots out in time.  I’m sure some Rep votes were suppressed, should soften the blow of a 500 vote advantage just down to a 300 or so one.

    1. don’t know Bernie Buescher very well. How about substantiating your claim? Bernie is one of the finest and most ethical men I know.

      Back up your slander with facts or apologize and shut the fuck up.

      1. to know he’s a failed politician in the last election, had to get Daddy Ritter to throw him a political lifeline in the SOS job, and then in a real election gets shellacked – all with the backing of about the richest guy in the world (Soros and his SOS Project).  It takes a special kind of schmuck to lose with all of those advantages.

        And he did admit in a TV interview that he was forced into complying with the MOVE Act, or don’t you recall Colorado being one of the states singled out as in danger of violating that law?  The excuse of when the primary occurs and when the ballots go out isn’t good enough when you are in the majority party, as is the Governor and both houses of state government.

        Loser straight down the line.

    1. But classy would have been congratulating them without a press release. This was an obligatory public gesture to make the D’s not look like sore losers.

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