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2012 Election Wrap-Up | Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce | Denver, CO
Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce | Denver, CO

2012 Election Wrap-Up

The Denver Metro Chamber is a non-partisan organization that does not endorse candidates; however, the Chamber does engage on issues of interest to the business community and is an active advocate on behalf of Chamber member employees and employers.

While the Chamber does not endorse candidates, it does help educate its members on the candidates by providing candidate information and hosting candidate forums.

2012 Election Wrap-up

U.S. House of Representatives

All seven members of Congress were re-elected for another two-year term. U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CD 6) and U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CD 7) were re-elected by comfortable margins, despite spirited challenges from Joe Miklosi and Joe Coors, respectively.

U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CD 4) soundly defeated outgoing State Senate President Brandon Shaffer in a newly drawn district that now includes a significant part of Douglas County. U.S. Rep.
Scott Tipton (R-CD 3)
also won by a wide margin, after being challenged by Democratic challenger Sal Pace.

U.S. Reps. Diana DeGette (D-CD 1) and Doug Lamborn (R-CD 5) remain in very safe seats and were overwhelmingly re-elected.

Colorado State Senate
Redistricting presented both parties with opportunities to either retain or take control of the Colorado State Senate. Democrats will retain control of the Colorado State Senate, with the split continuing to be 20-15. In the Denver metro area, all eyes were on three targeted Senate seats, one of which is so close that it is likely headed to a recount.

SD 19 (Arvada & Westminster):

Incumbent Democratic Sen. Evie Hudak narrowly beat challenger Republican Lang Sias.

SD 22 (Lakewood, Jefferson County):

Former Representative and Democrat Andy Kerr defeated former Representative and Republican Ken Summers to represent the Senate seat held by Sen. Betty Boyd, who was barred by term limits from seeking re-election.

SD 26 (Littleton, Englewood):

Incumbent and Democratic Sen. Linda Newell held off a challenge by Republican Dave Kerber and will be re-elected with more than 52% of the vote.

SD 35 (San Luis and Arkansas Valleys):

Republican Larry Crowder defeated Democratic opponent Crestina Martinez in the race for the new senate district that includes portions of the San Luis Valley and stretches into southeastern Colorado.

The following Senators were re-elected to their second 4-year term:
• Bill Cadman (R-SD 12)
• Morgan Carroll (D-SD 29)
• Rollie Heath (D-SD 18)
• Mary Hodge (D-SD 25)
• Mark Scheffel (R-SD 4)

Three Senators were officially elected, as they were appointed to fill mid-term vacancies:
• Irene Aguilar (D-SD 32)
• Michael Johnston (D-SD 33)
• Pat Steadman (D-SD 31)

Several members of the House of Representatives will move into Senate seats, including:
• David Balmer (R-SD 27)
• Randy Baumgardner (R-SD 8)
• Matt Jones (D-SD 17)
• John Kefalas (D-SD 14)
• Nancy Todd (D-SD 28)

The Senate will welcome three true freshman.
• Owen Hill (R-SD 10)
• Vickie Marble (R-SD 23)
• Jessie Ulibarri (D-SD 21)

Colorado House of Representatives

Democrats will take control of the House of Representatives, representing a leadership change for the third time in the last decade. The Republicans had held a narrow majority, which 33 seats; Democrats will now hold the majority with 37 seats. Of note, four Republican incumbents lost to Democrats who had significant backing from leadership 527s. There will be 25 freshman house members when the legislature convenes on January 9, 2013.

HD 3 (Greenwood Village and Denver):

Brian Watson was defeated by Democrate incumbent Rep. Daniel Kagan.

HD 17 (Colorado Springs):

Firefighter and Democrat Tony Exum defeated incumbent Rep. Mark Barker with nearly 54% of the vote.

HD 18 (Manitou Springs & Colorado Springs):

Incumbent Democratic Rep. Pete Lee fended off a challenge by Republican lawyer Jennifer George earning nearly 53% of the vote.

HD 23 (Lakewood):

Incumbent Democratic Rep. Max Tyler eaked out 50% of the vote, however, he still earned more than 2,000 votes than Republican businessman Rick Enstrom.

HD 33 (Broomfield):

Former Democratic Representative Dianne Primavera, who had been defeated in 2010 by Don Beezley, ran for her old house seat and defeated Republican challenger Dave Pigott by nearly 2,000 votes.

HD 47 (Pueblo County):

Republican Clarice Navarro-Ratzlaff earned more than 50% of the votes against Democrat Chuck Rodosevich in a district that was extremely competitive.

Mike MacLachlan, Democratic challenger and Durango lawyer, defeated incumbent Republican rancher J. Paul Brown by just over 700 votes.

Statewide Ballot Initiatives

Referendum S:

This civil service reform measure was part of the Governor Hicklenlooper’s 2012 legislative agenda and passed with more than 56% of the vote. It is the first successful civil service reform effort in decades.

Amendment 64:

Recreational marijuana will now be legal (for adults in limited quantities) and regulated at the state level, similarly to alcohol. Amendment 64, which was back by significant out-of-state resources, passed with more than 54% of the vote. Colorado is one of the first states in the country to legalize recreational marijuana. Possession will still be a violation of federal law.

Amendment 65:

Despite the fact that this constitutional amendment lacks any meaningful or legally enforceable language, Colorado voters overwhelming supported the general premise (74% of the vote), which is to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court case Citizens United that allowed corporations and labor unions to spend money in direct advocacy of candidates.

Local Initiatives


Measure 2A:

This measure asked Denver voters to “de-Bruce” property taxes, allowing for an increase of an estimated $68 million per year. It passed overwhelmingly, with returns showing 74 percent approval.
Measure 3A: Two-thirds of Denver voters (68%) approved a mill levy override, which is expected to generate $49 million for Denver Public Schools.

Measure 3B:

Nearly two-thirds of Denver voters (63%) approved a bond issue that is expected to raise $466 million for Denver Public Schools.

Other School Finance Initiatives

School finance bond initiatives and mill levy overrides passed in every district that proposed them.
Big winners include:
• Aurora -- $15M mill levy override
• Cherry Creek Schools -- $125M bonds; $25M mill levy override;
• Jefferson County Schools -- $99M bonds; $39M mill levy override;
• St. Vrain Schools – $14.8M mill levy override; and
• Sheridan School District -- $6.5 million bond issue, which in turn positions the district to receive a grant from the state to build new facilities.

Longmont – Ballot Question 300 (Fracking Ban):

Opponents of hydraulic fracturing succeed in getting a fracking ban added to the Longmont City Charter, capturing nearly 60 percent of the vote.

Click the links to the right to view information on past elections.