Colorado Republicans have taken control of the House by a slim 33-32 margin, the first time they’ve been in power over a chamber of the legislature since 2004. Their first overture to Democrats is a willingness to work with Governor-elect John Hickenlooper in a bipartisan fashion to create jobs, according to the Denver Business Journal. State Representative Frank McNulty, of Highlands Ranch, has been designated as the next House speaker, replacing Denver Democrat Terrance Carroll, whose name is in the mix of potential candidates for Denver mayor now that Hickenlooper is moving to the governor’s mansion. McNulty implies that employment will be a target for the majority GOP, saying, “There are far too many Coloradans out of work.”
Democrats have selected Pueblo’s Sal Pace, a former regional director for U.S. Representative John Salazar, as their minority leader. And his GOP counterpart will be Monument’s Amy Stephens, reports The Denver Post.
Hickenlooper says he will try to make budget cuts that cause the least amount of pain, as he grapples with a deficit of about $715 million, notes The Associated Press. Republicans pulled off big victories in state legislatures across the country, and as the redrawing of all 435 United States Congressional districts begins, the GOP will have “complete control over the process in four times as many House districts as Democrats do, districts that comprise nearly half of the entire House,” writes The Fix.