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Political forecast: 2019

Posted By Chris Howes, Friday, November 30, 2018

The results for Republicans on election night were not very pretty. The final tally in the Senate was: 19 Democrat seats to 16 Republicans seats. Veteran lawmaker (and veteran US Marine) Leroy Garcia was elected by his caucus to serve as Senate President. Boulder senator Steve Fenberg will serve as Majority Leader.

Speaker-elect KC Becker

Over in the House, the news was even better for Democrats, as they picked up 5 new seats, bringing the final tally to 41 Democrat seats to 25 Republican seats. A record-setting 25 of those 41 D seats are now held by women. All of those results assisted KC Becker in being elected as the next Colorado Speaker of the House. Alec Garnett of Denver will take over as the new Majority Leader.

We expect committees in both chambers to be chosen by leadership any day now. The huge difference in the House next year will be Democrats enjoying a TWO vote margin on most, if not all, committees. This will be a really big change for the vote-counters in the lobby.

The Democrats have announced that all the bills passed in 2018 in the Dem-controlled House that were killed by Republicans in the Senate will be coming back for a second, and no doubt successful run in 2019. With few exceptions, Republicans will have little chance to stop their legislative agenda now. There has been some scuttlebutt in the lobby about how Democrats have learned their lesson from their legislative excesses in 2014 when they won the battle over bills, but then promptly lost the war and control of the entire Senate chamber, so we will reserve judgement on how fast they will come charging out of the gate. We can sensibly expect many in their caucus to believe that their election night rout gives them a fresh mandate to govern on the issues they so passionately campaigned on.

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