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Colorado State Senate elections, 2014

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Colorado State Senate elections, 2014

Majority controlQualifications
List of candidates
District 1District 2District 3District 5District 6District 7District 9District 11District 13District 15District 16District 19District 20District 22District 24District 30District 32District 34
State Legislative Election Results

Colorado State Senate2014 Colorado House Elections
BattlegroundRace.jpg

In Colorado, the Republican Party is aiming to take the upper house, breaking the state's Democratic trifecta. The Democrats have a one-seat majority in the Senate, and 13 of the 18 seats up for election feature two major party candidates. Analysts predict that a shift in the balance may come down to one county. All these factors make the state one to watch this year.[1][2]

A Republican win in the Colorado State Senate, even without wins in the lower house or the governor's mansion, is key, according to former Republican Speaker of the House Frank McNulty. He said,

If we pick up the Senate and nothing else, we return to 2011 and 2012, where nothing bad happens.[3]

—Frank McNulty, [1]

President of the Senate Morgan Carroll, a Democrat, told the New York Times that if Gov. John Hickenlooper loses re-election and the Democrats lose the Senate, it could be a step back for her party's legislative advances, such as same-sex marriage. A Republican victory in November could also have implications for state gun policy; Democrats have staved off GOP attempts to repeal gun laws. Two Democrats have been recalled and one resigned amid controversy over their support for gun control.[1]

The Colorado Senate is one of 20 state legislative chambers noted by Ballotpedia staff as being a battleground chamber. Its partisan difference of one seat amounts to 5.6 percent of the seats up for election in 2014. In 2012, when 16 districts were up for election, a total of six districts were competitive or mildly competitive. Two of those districts, District 19 and District 22, are up for election again in 2014. Both of those districts had a margin of victory of 5 percent or less in 2012.

Elections for the office of Colorado State Senate will take place in 2014. A primary election took place June 24, 2014. The general election will be held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was March 31, 2014.

Incumbents retiring

A total of six incumbents are not running for re-election in 2014. Those incumbents are:

Name Party Current Office
Greg Brophy Ends.png Republican Senate District 1
Gail Schwartz Electiondot.png Democratic Senate District 5
Steve King Ends.png Republican Senate District 7
Scott Renfroe Ends.png Republican Senate District 13
Lois Tochtrop Electiondot.png Democratic Senate District 24
Ted Harvey Ends.png Republican Senate District 30

Majority control

See also: Partisan composition of state senates

Heading into the November 4 election, the Democratic Party holds a slim majority in the Colorado State Senate:

Colorado State Senate
Party As of September 2014 After the 2014 Election
     Democratic Party 18 Pending
     Republican Party 17 Pending
Total 35 35

Qualifications

Candidate ballot accecss
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Article 5, Section 4 of the Colorado Constitution states: No person shall be a representative or senator who shall not have attained the age of twenty-five years, who shall not be a citizen of the United States, who shall not for at least twelve months next preceding his election, have resided within the territory included in the limits of the county or district in which he shall be chosen; provided, that any person who at the time of the adoption of this constitution, was a qualified elector under the territorial laws, shall be eligible to the first general assembly.

Competitiveness

Candidates unopposed by a major party

In 5 (27.8%) of the 18 districts up for election in 2014, there is only one major party candidate running for election. Five Republicans are guaranteed election in November barring unforeseen circumstances.

Two major party candidates will face off in the general election in 13 (72.2%) of the 18 districts up for election.

Primary challenges

No incumbents faced primary competition on June 24. Six incumbents are not seeking re-election in 2014 and another 12 (66.7%) incumbents advanced past the primary without opposition.

Retiring incumbents

Six (33.3%) incumbent senators are not running for re-election, while 12 (66.7%) are running for re-election. A list of those incumbents, two Democrats and four Republicans, can be found above.

Context

The Democrats control the senate by the smallest possible margin of one seat. The 2013 recalls of Senate President John Morse (D) and Angela Giron (D) were followed by the attempted recall and resignation of Evie Hudak (D). All three petitions were fueled by gun control legislation passed by the chamber during the 2013 session. Morse and Giron were replaced by Republicans Bernie Herpin and George Rivera, respectively, while Hudak's resignation allowed a Democratic vacancy committee to fill her seat with Rachel Zenzinger (D) and prevent a Republican majority. All three seats are up for election in 2014.

The Colorado State Senate has been identified by Louis Jacobson of Governing magazine as one of 17 chambers that is "vulnerable to a change in control in November". Jacobson rated the state senate contest in Colorado as a "tossup" as of late June. It is one of four state senates currently held by a Democratic Party majority that Jacobson rates as tossups; the others being Iowa, Nevada and New York.[4]

Races to watch

Analysts believe that the two seats up for election in Jefferson County will determine who holds a majority in 2015. Political analyst Eric Sondermann called Jefferson County "the epicenter of Colorado politics." State Republican Party chair Ryan Call called the county a microcosm of the state, with an even split between Democratic, Republican and unaffiliated registered voters. Call believes that District 19 holds more promise for Republicans than District 22.[2]

The primary campaigns are likely to be closely contested as well, with the gun-rights group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) endorsing one candidate in each primary and attacking the other for not being conservative enough. RMGO endorsed Woods and Sanchez before stating in an email that since the other candidates did not fill out their anti-gun survey, RMGO assumed they would "vote anti-gun if elected." Nicolais defended himself from the criticism, referencing his concealed carry permit. Sias pointed to his high marks from the National Rifle Association to deflect the accusation. Both RMGO-endorsed candidates won their primary.[2]

List of candidates

Note: Candidate lists can change frequently throughout the election season. Ballotpedia staff will be re-examining the list on a monthly basis for any changes. This list was last examined on September 9, 2014. For more information about Ballotpedia's election coverage plan, click here. If you are aware of a candidate we've missed or one incorrectly listed, please send an email to: Tyler King.

District 1

Note: Incumbent Greg Brophy (R) is not running for re-election.

Democratic Party June 24 Democratic primary:
  • No candidates filed to run.
Republican Party June 24 Republican primary:
Constitution Party Constitution Party candidates:

November 4 General election candidates:

Republican Party Jerry Sonnenberg
Constitution Party Doug Aden

District 2

Democratic Party June 24 Democratic primary:
  • No candidates filed to run.
Republican Party June 24 Republican primary:
Green Party Green Party candidates:

November 4 General election candidates:

Republican Party Kevin J. Grantham
Green Party Martin T. Wirth

District 3

Democratic Party June 24 Democratic primary:
Republican Party June 24 Republican primary:
  • George Rivera Approveda - Incumbent Rivera first assumed office in 2013.

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Leroy M. Garcia, Jr.
Republican Party George Rivera

District 5

Note: Incumbent Gail Schwartz (D) is not running for re-election.

Democratic Party June 24 Democratic primary:
Republican Party June 24 Republican primary:
Libertarian Party Libertarian Party candidates:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Kerry Donovan
Republican Party Don Suppes
Libertarian Party Lee Mulcahy

District 6

Democratic Party June 24 Democratic primary:
  • No candidates filed to run.
Republican Party June 24 Republican primary:

November 4 General election candidates:

Republican Party Ellen S. Roberts

District 7

Note: Incumbent Steve King (R) is not running for re-election.

Democratic Party June 24 Democratic primary:
Republican Party June 24 Republican primary:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Claudette J. Konola
Republican Party Ray Scott

District 9

Democratic Party June 24 Democratic primary:
  • No candidates filed to run.
Republican Party June 24 Republican primary:
  • Kent Lambert Approveda - Incumbent Lambert first assumed office in 2011.

November 4 General election candidates:

Republican Party Kent Lambert

District 11

Democratic Party June 24 Democratic primary:
Republican Party June 24 Republican primary:
  • Bernie Herpin Approveda - Incumbent Herpin first assumed office in 2013.
Libertarian Party Libertarian Party candidates:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Michael Merrifield
Republican Party Bernie Herpin
Libertarian Party Norman "Paotie" Dawson

District 13

Note: Incumbent Scott Renfroe (R) is not running for re-election.

Democratic Party June 24 Democratic primary:
Republican Party June 24 Republican primary:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Joe Perez
Republican Party John Cooke

District 15

Democratic Party June 24 Democratic primary:
  • No candidates filed to run.
Republican Party June 24 Republican primary:

November 4 General election candidates:

Republican Party Kevin Lundberg

District 16

Democratic Party June 24 Democratic primary:
Republican Party June 24 Republican primary:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Jeanne Nicholson
Republican Party Tim Neville

District 19

Democratic Party June 24 Democratic primary:
Republican Party June 24 Republican primary:
Libertarian Party Libertarian Party candidates:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Rachel Zenzinger
Republican Party Laura J. Woods
Libertarian Party Gregg Miller

District 20

Democratic Party June 24 Democratic primary:
  • Cheri Jahn Approveda - Incumbent Jahn first assumed office in 2011.
Republican Party June 24 Republican primary:
Libertarian Party Libertarian Party candidates:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Cheri Jahn
Republican Party Larry Queen
Libertarian Party Chris Heismann

District 22

Democratic Party June 24 Democratic primary:
  • Andy Kerr Approveda - Incumbent Kerr first assumed office in 2013.
Republican Party June 24 Republican primary:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Andy Kerr
Republican Party Tony Sanchez

District 24

Note: Incumbent Lois Tochtrop (D) is not running for re-election.

Democratic Party June 24 Democratic primary:
Republican Party June 24 Republican primary:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Judy Solano
Republican Party Beth Martinez Humenik

District 30

Note: Incumbent Ted Harvey (R) is not running for re-election.

Democratic Party June 24 Democratic primary:
Republican Party June 24 Republican primary:
Libertarian Party Libertarian Party candidates:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Bette Davis
Republican Party Chris Holbert
Libertarian Party Eric Price

District 32

Democratic Party June 24 Democratic primary:
  • Irene Aguilar Approveda - Incumbent Aguilar first assumed office in 2011.
Republican Party June 24 Republican primary:
Libertarian Party Libertarian Party candidates:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Irene Aguilar
Republican Party Dawne Murray
Libertarian Party Darrell Dinges

District 34

Democratic Party June 24 Democratic primary:
  • Lucia Guzman Approveda - Incumbent Guzman first assumed office in 2010.
Republican Party June 24 Republican primary:
Libertarian Party Libertarian Party candidates:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Lucia Guzman
Republican Party Stuart Siffring
Libertarian Party Brian Scriber

See also

External links

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