Path to Power

By Lynn Bartels

Colorado Senate Democrats are winning the money battle heading into November, but the question is which party has the momentum and will end up in power next year.

Eighteen of the 35 state Senate seats are up for election, but the focus likely will be on as few as six crucial races — three in Jefferson County.

Democrats currently hold only an 18-17 seat majority after three Democratic senators lost their jobs over their support in 2013 for new gun laws. Three of the seats in play this year are for those seats.

In a recent news release touting their fundraising prowess, Senate Majority Leader Rollie Heath predicted Democrats will pick up seats in November. Part of that, the Boulder Democrat said, is because Republicans in the June 24 primary nominated “Tea Party favorites.”

“They are focused on the least of what hardworking Coloradans care about,” Heath said.

Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman, R-Colorado Springs, scoffed at that.

“If anybody is the least focused on what hardworking Coloradans want, Rollie and his party should know,” Cadman said, pointing to the recalls and the stunning defeat last year of a tax hike for education.

“They’ve lost touch with people. I’m extremely optimistic.”

Third-party candidates also are running in some of the key Senate races and could be a factor in a close contest. Here’s a look at the races and the Democratic and Republican challengers:

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