Democrats on their way to maintain control of Colorado Senate according to Wednesday results

Republicans fail to flip any blue Senate seats red, instead losing 2

By: - November 8, 2022 11:56 pm

Election workers process ballots in El Paso County, Colorado, on Nov. 8, 2022. (Carl Payne for Colorado Newsline)

Colorado Republicans failed to take back control of the Colorado Senate in the midterm elections, with Democrats holding onto the chamber with a 23-12 majority, according to early unofficial election results Tuesday.

The Republican Party saw the Colorado Senate as the most likely chance for the party to have a greater say in the state’s politics, initially looking to flip three seats. Once Sen. Kevin Priola changed parties from Republican to Democrat in August, the party needed to flip four seats to win the chamber. 

Instead, Republicans appear to have lost two previously red seats to the Democrats in the 2022 midterms. Republicans held onto their seats in Senate Districts 1, 4, 7, 9, 30 and 35, but failed to flip any presently blue seats red. One Republican incumbent was voted out of office in favor of a Democratic challenger, and one other seat previously held by a Republican will be taken over by a Democrat, according to Tuesday’s results. 

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As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, Republican incumbent Rob Woodward narrowly lost his seat in Senate District 15 to Democratic challenger Janice Marchman, who won 51.3% of the vote, compared to Woodward’s 48.7%. 

Democrat Dylan Roberts, who currently serves in the Colorado House representing District 26, defeated Republican Matt Solomon to take the Senate District 8 seat with 55.7% of the district’s votes compared to Solomon’s 44.3%. Senate Distrct 8 was previously represented by Republican Bob Rankin, who will represent Senate District 5 through the end of his term in 2024.

Two experienced Colorado legislators compete for key state Senate seat

Senate District 3 incumbent Nick Hinrichsen, a Democrat, held onto his seat as Pueblo’s state senator with 52.6% of the vote, defeating Republican challenger Stephen Varela, with 47.4% of the vote. 

The race for Senate District 11 included two experienced state legislators competing for the seat. Democrat Tony Exum pushed out Republican Dennis Hisey with 50.7% of the vote compared to Hisey’s 44.1%. Libertarian Daryl Kuiper took 5.2%. 

Democrat Lisa Cutter will jump from the Colorado House to the Senate after defeating Republican Tim Walsh in the race to represent Senate District 20 with 54.5% of the vote over Walsh’s 43.3%. Libertarian BetteRose Ryan took 2%.

Kyle Mullica, who is also in the Colorado House, will make the jump to the Senate, too, after defeating Republican Courtney Potter for the Senate District 24 seat with 54.6% of the vote compared to Potter’s 42.8%. 

“I’m proud to continue my service in the state legislature and I will keep up the fight to protect our families and human rights,” Mullica said in a statement. “Now, it’s time to roll up my sleeves and get the real work done. I’m ready to work with anyone, regardless of party, to make sure my community has a strong voice down at the Capitol.”

Democrat Tom Sullivan defeated Republican Tom Kim in the race for the Senate District 27 seat with 55.5% of the district’s votes compared to Kim’s 44.5%. 

Senate District 30 had a closer race than expected, with Republican incumbent Kevin Van Winkle keeping his seat with 53.6% of the vote compared to Democratic challenger Braeden Miguel’s 46.5%.

Republican Byron Pelton ran unopposed for Senate District 1, as did Democrat Julie Gonzales in Senate District 34. Democrats also held onto their seats in Senate Districts 22, 25 and 32.

Preliminary results also indicate Democrats will hold control of the Colorado House, maintaining their “trifecta” with Gov. Jared Polis also winning re-election.

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 5:30 p.m., Nov. 9, 2022, to include the latest ballot returns and a statement from state Rep. Kyle Mullica.

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Lindsey Toomer
Lindsey Toomer

Lindsey Toomer covers politics, social justice and other stories for Newsline. She formerly reported on city government at the Denver Gazette and on Colorado mountain town government, education and environment at the Summit Daily News. Toomer graduated from the Pennsylvania State University, where she also served as managing editor of The Daily Collegian, with degrees in journalism and global studies.

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