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Nov 7, 2012 1:49 AM by Andy Koen

Local races shift balance of power at state legislature

Though a swing state in the presidential contest, Colorado turned a slightly deeper shade of blue on election night when it came to state politics as Democrats won pair of state house races in the conservative leaning El Paso County.

Incumbent Pete Lee was re-elected in House District 18, and newcomer Tony Exum was elected to represent House District 17. Those two seats along gave the party a one vote majority in the state house. Democrats will also control the State Senate and the Governor's office when the next legislative session begins in January.

"The campaign strategy for myself and Pete worked, you know, connecting with the voters," Exum said. "Hopefully we'll be able to end this gridlock that's happened at the state to get some work done for the people."

Just before taking the stage at the Peak Dems rally at the Antler's Hotel, Rep. Lee stressed the need for bi-partisanship when the legislature convenes in two months.

"The legislature is still a collaborative body. So we'll still be working across the aisles and try to find middle of the road policies that can be embraced by all of Coloradoans."

As a result of the new majority, the Speaker of the House and all of the committee chairs will be Democrats. There will also be Democrat majorities on all of those committees.

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