Colorado’s Democrats regained control of the state House on Tuesday night, an important victory for the gay rights community who vowed to erase the GOP’s slim majority that helped kill a civil-union bill earlier this year.

By late last night, it appeared the Republicans’ 33-32 majority slipped to a possible 38-27 deficit with key victories in Arapahoe, El Paso and Jefferson counties. With the shift, Democrats will hold both legislative chambers, plus the governor’s office. Additionally, Denver Rep. Mark Ferrandino—the House minority leader, who also is openly gay—is expected to become the state’s new Speaker of the House.

These results mean that Republicans will be relegated to the political sidelines for at least the next two years, as civil unions and education take center stage. More interesting is how Gov. John Hickenlooper, a pro-business Democrat who has, at times, clashed with his own party, is going to handle this: Will he push to include GOP ideas in legislation? Doing so could be both an olive branch and a way to help woo moderate Republicans who could consider moving his way, should the former brew-pub owner decide to run for president in 2016.

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