colorado-state-capitolLast week, Dems held elections for State House and Senate leadership positions.  Dems tried to laud the Democratic women elected to leadership positions – as if this would make up for a) not paying women equally (ahem, Sen. Udall and Rep. Polis) and b) focusing exclusively on women’s reproductive organs (ahem, every Dem in 2014). While Republicans almost ran entirely unopposed for their leadership positions in the House and Senate, Democrats’ elections in the House were nearly all contested, signifying that Republicans, while ideologically, demographically, and geographically diverse, are far more unified as a caucus heading into the 2015 legislative session.  Here are the new Democratic House leaders:

  • Speaker: Rep. Dickie Lee Hullinghorst
  • Majority Leader: Rep. Crisanta Duran
  • Assistant Majority Leader: Rep. Dominick Moreno
  • Caucus Chairwoman: Rep. Angela Williams
  • Assistant Caucus Chair: Rep. Mike Foote
  • Majority Whip: Rep. Su Ryden
  • Deputy Majority Whip: Rep. Brittany Pettersen

Hullinghorst’s election sends an ominous message to those supportive of Colorado’s oil and gas industry as she was Rep. Jared Polis’ trusted liaison for negotiations on the job-killing oil and gas initiatives he proposed earlier this year.  If her support for Polis during the ill-advised ballot initiatives is any indication, her oversight on bills in the Colorado House will usher in anything but moderate legislation on this contentious topic.

Curiously, Dems appointed Rep. Jenise May to serve on the Joint Budget Committee still have not forced Rep. Jenise May to concede.  In case you haven’t been breathlessly following this saga, May currently is expected to lose her election.  In fact, Governor John Hickenlooper essentially conceded for her last week.  It’s a bizarre situation.

Of course, rumor has it that Sen. Udall also had difficulty conceding despite every network calling the race.  It wasn’t until a huge Republican donor called a prominent Democratic donor/operative and told Team Udall that either he concedes or will face major embarrassment. The Dem replied, “Udall needs an hour or two” and Team Gardner said “too bad”.  Perhaps similar intercession is necessary in this situation, although, it’s pretty safe to say that Democrats have already embarrassed themselves plenty in this situation.

In the Senate, elections were less divided, but also less important, as Republicans regained control of the state Senate for the first time in a decade.  Here’s the Senate Democrat lineup – (spoiler alert) it’s pretty similar to old version:

  • Minority Leader: Sen. Morgan Carroll
  • Assistant Minority Leader: Sen. Rollie Heath
  • Caucus Chair: Sen. Jesse Ulibarri
  • Whip: Sen. Matt Jones

Sen. Pat Steadman also is headed to the Joint Budget Committee.