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Colorado Democrats and Republicans pick new leadership in House, Senate

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Posted at 1:42 PM, Nov 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-10 15:44:38-05

DENVER – Though neither the Colorado House or Senate changed hands in Tuesday’s General Election, both have new leadership with budget experience after elections Thursday morning.

Republicans continue to have a majority in the state Senate, while Democrats control the House.

Sen. Kevin Grantham, R-Canon City, will serve as the new Senate president, and Democrats picked Rep. Crisanta Duran, D-Denver, to serve as House Speaker Thursday morning.

Both have served on the Joint Budget Committee and bring experience in handling state spending to their respective chambers.

Duran has served as the House Majority Leader since January 2015. The Speaker seat opened up after Dickey Lee Hullinghorst was forced to retire due to term limit rules. She will be the first Latina speaker in state history.

“Regardless of whether you have an R or a D next to your name, we will work to rise above partisan politics,” Duran said in a news release from the Democratic caucus. “Now that the election is done, it is time to govern together.”

Bill Cadman, a Republican from the Colorado Springs area, was the previous Senate president, but was also forced to retire because of term limit rules.

Jerry Sonenberg will serve as Senate President Pro Tem, and Chris Holbert will be Senate Majority Leader.

Republicans picked conservative Castle Rock Rep. Patrick Neville to serve as House Minority Leader.

KC Becker, a Democrat from Denver, will serve as House Majority Leader. Lucia Guzman, who had previously been the President Pro Tem of the Senate, was elected Senate Minority Leader.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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