GOP Wins Colorado House Majority by 197 Votes

The Jefferson County clerk released final results moments ago in the last undecided Colorado General Assembly race: Republican Robert Ramirez is the apparent winner in HD-29 over incumbent Debbie Benefield by a margin of 197 votes.

Debbie Benefield (D) 12,541

Robert Ramirez (R) 12,738

This leaves Republicans with a 33-32 House majority, so Speaker-designate Frank McNulty’s position is secured–it does appear that the final count didn’t move even as much as it did in other close legislative races. What Democrats did accomplish, after some initial hesitation, was highlighting the very small majority that Republicans actually won. Where the story before was “GOP takes the House,” nobody will fail to note the “by one seat” qualifier that made the last two weeks so uncertain. It may not slow McNulty down, but at least it’s part of the story now.

UPDATE: Minority Leader Sal Pace’s statement after the jump: “The voters have spoken and delivered a very balanced Colorado State House.” That’s the theory, anyway…

Denver–Final tallies have been reported today in House District 29, delivering a loss to incumbent Representative Debbie Benefield of Westminster.  Immediately following the news, Minority Leader Sal Pace called to offer his congratulations to Speaker-Elect Frank McNulty and his caucus.

“We now have closure on the 2010 election,” said Minority Leader Pace. “I’m proud of all our candidates and our campaigns, and that it was Democrats who stood up for Coloradans to make sure all of their votes were counted.”

Today’s news finalized a one-seat Republican majority in the State House.

“The voters have spoken and delivered a very balanced Colorado State House,” said Minority Leader Pace. “We look forward to working in a bipartisan manner to bring solutions to the state. We pledge to work with the other side of the aisle to create jobs and fix the economy.  Democrats remain committed to making wise choices that respect the values of the people of Colorado.”

Including Minority Leader Pace, the other members of the Democratic leadership team are:

   * Assistant Minority Leader, Rep. Nancy Todd, Aurora

   * Whip, Rep. Claire Levy, Boulder

   * Deputy Whip, Rep. Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, Boulder

   * Caucus Chair, Rep. Lois Court, Denver

   * Deputy Caucus Chair, Rep. Su Ryden, Aurora



19 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Interlocken Loop says:

    Everyone including Sal Pace knew that Debbie Benefield had a zero chance of making up over 200 votes.  Did it make the Democratic Caucus look better or just foolish by prolonging the inevitable?  

    • Craig says:

      Did it make Tim Leonard and the Republican Caucus or the guy who ran against John Morse look better or worse.  I’d say that this one was sort of a draw.  I know you Republicans feel like you need to spin everything, but really.  Both parties did it.  Nothing changed from election night.  You both got your message out.  This is a purple state, for now.  At least it kept before the voters that these provisional ballots could (but likely won’t except in races where the difference is less than 100) make a difference.  So much for the Republican’s spin that the provisionals were going to go for Republicans because people were changing their vote to Tancredo.  Sorry guys, in each case (Morse, Nicholson and Benefield) the Democrats ended up with more provisional ballots than the Republicans did.  So your spin on that was was an EPIC FAIL.  Just remember folks, Republicans tell a lot of lies to spin this stuff, this is just another example of their spin not turning out to be correct, as if we needed any more examples.

      • Jeff Bridges says:

        It’s far better to lose by a hair than to lose by a mile. The headline “GOP Sweep Dems out of State House” is far worse than “GOP Squeaks By”. When there’s a thin margin it’s always best to highlight it.

        This is a smart opening move from Pace, of a kind I’m sure we’ll see more of.

        • Voyageur says:

          a miss is as good as a mile.

            The Rs will gather on opening day and sing


          We are 33, you are 32, you are gonna get screwed!

          • Jeff Bridges says:

            It’s not just one press release, it’s an indication that we have a Democratic leadership that gets the importance of having a good press strategy and knows how to do it.

            Believe me, it’s easy to let opportunities like this go by. Instead the leadership took this opportunity to emphasize that Republicans only won the House by about 200 votes and in only one district. Rs may have won, but the story makes it clear that they do not have a mandate.

            This is in strong contrast to the national Republican takeover story, and gives Ds a solid foundation to either bring House Rs to negotiating the table or lambast them if they hold up good legislation. (Especially any bipartisan legislation from the Senate.)

    • droll says:

      It’s not like they made a big thing of it.  No one challenged McNulty’s dumbass changes.  He was called quick to declare, but that’s about it.

      For me, I’d rather see a caucus prepared for any outcome instead of preening their feathers before the race was even close enough to call.  They were ready for either, but named themselves realistically.  This was less embarrassing than a reversal would’ve been for the GOP.

      The only way we really know any race’s outcome before the votes are in is if you own a reliable crystal ball.  But nice try.

  2. MADCO says:

    will be all over Ramirez to remind him that he (Ramirez) also must remember to represent the 12,541 people who didn’t vote for him.

    • Craig says:

      See now why I was so loud and long in making my case against this guy?

      • dukeco1 says:

        I have been around a little while and I haven’t met a Republican elected official that ever gave that POV more than lip service.

        One of the primary reasons I have always eschewed seeking elected official status is my personal commitment to that principle. I am, at this time, not willing to represent the Republican, Libertarian, or Tea Party principles. All of them insist that principles trump progress. I won’t go there. Our future depends on us getting along…not just getting our way.

        Besides…ME… get elected in Mesa County? As my ol’ pal Snagglepuss used to say, “It is to laugh”.


  3. BlueCat says:

    and doesn’t make Dems look foolish.  Voters like their votes to be counted, every one of them. Not that a whole lot pay much attention to the state leg.

  4. abraham says:

    I suspect that everyone who survived this election regardless of office or party understands that the voters are really out of patience with posturing and are now demanding constructive solutions.

    The Republicans should not feel delivered, and the Democrats should not feel they were punished.  But if the two parties can’t work out some pragmatic solutions to our budget and fiscal problems, they may find that the voters are even less tolerant in 2012.

  5. Outrider says:

    the lamb doesn’t get much sleep.

  6. Cordelia Chase says:

    It’s gonna be a long two years in Colorado, folks.  I fear the Republicans here will act like their counterparts in DC.  For example, I am guessing they will block legislation to enact Federal Healthcare Reform (although the voters said they want in via Amendment 63), setting Colorado behind in implementation and hurting those who need the help.

    That and the fact a bunch of really stupid bills might make it through the House that typically are killed right away.  

    • Ralphie says:

      They can’t block shit.

      And that assumes that you COULD block shit if you controlled both houses and the Governor’s office all at the same time.  Federal health care reform is above the pay grade of anyone in the Colorado General Assembly.

      They can control the debate, but only if the Democrats are stupid enough to let them.

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