Colorado Capitol Report

The Colorado Chamber Achieves Goal: Balanced Legislature to Continue in 2017

This Capitol Report is brought to you by:

  • community-banks-of-colorado

State Policy News

CACI Achieves Goal: Balanced Legislature to Continue in 2017

Yesterday’s state legislative elections resulted in the continuation of a goal towards which CACI has worked hard since last May: a balanced legislature.

Republicans currently control the 35-member Senate by one vote, and the Democrats control the House 34 to 31.

In 2017, the Senate will still be controlled by Republicans by a single vote, as it was for the 2015 and 2016 sessions.

The House will continue to be controlled by the Democrats, but they picked up an additional three seats for a 37-to-28 margin.

Here are seven key races in the Senate and the House and the outcomes (results are unofficial and were posted on the Secretary of State’s Web site) with the CACI-endorsed candidates listed before the results:


District 19

Senator Laura Woods (R-Arvada)

Senator Woods has apparently lost to challenger Rachel Zenzinger, a Democrat, by 1,306 votes, or 47.86 percent to 46.16 percent of the votes cast.  Once again, a Libertarian candidate can be viewed as having played the role of spoiler for the Republican candidate in the District 19 race.  Hans Romer garnered 4,573 votes, or 5.98 percent of the votes cast.

District 25

Representative Kevin Priola (R-Henderson)

Representative Priola has apparently bested Jenise May, a Democrat, by 3,040 votes, or 53.58 percent to 46.42 percent, in the race for this open seat.

District 26

Nancy Doty (R-Littleton)

In the race for another open seat, Democrat Representative Daniel Kagan (Cherry Hills Village) beat Arapahoe County Commissioner Doty (R-Littleton) by 4,312 votes, or 53.24 percent to 46.76 percent.

District 27

Senator Jack Tate (R-Centennial)

Senator Tate bested Democrat Tom Sullivan (Centennial) by 4,344 votes, or 53.12 percent to 46.88 percent.


District 17

Representative Kit Roupe (R-Colorado Springs)

Representative Roupe lost to Democrat Tony Exum, Sr., by 1,754 votes, 41.58 percent to 49.34 percent.  Libertarian candidate Susan Quilleash won 2,054 votes, or 9.06 percent of the total, playing the role of spoiler for Representative Roupe.

District 30

Representative Joann Windholz (R-Commerce City)

Representative Windholz was defeated by Jenet Dafna Michaelson (D-Commerce City) by 817 votes, or 52.13 percent to 47.87 percent.

District 59

Representative J. Paul Brown (R-Ignacio)

Representative Brown narrowly lost to Democrat Barbara McLachlan (Durango) by only 617 votes, 50.68 percent to 49.32 percent.

For more information about CACI’s legislative-candidate slate, contact Loren Furman, CACI Senior Vice President, State and Federal Relations, at 303.866.9642.

CACI Bats .846 with 2016 State Legislative Endorsements

This election season, CACI endorsed and supported a bipartisan slate of 52 incumbent and new legislative candidates for election.

CACI determined that these legislative candidates will advocate policies that will create jobs and enhance the state’s economic climate.

Of these 52 candidates, 44 won re-election or election, which—in the statistics-laden parlance of baseball—translates into a .846 batting average.

By contrast, Ben Zobrist, the Most Valuable Player of the 2016 World Series and who is the second baseman for the World Champion Chicago Cubs, only batted .250 in the post-season and .272 during the regular season.

Here are the CACI-endorsed candidates who won:

Senate Incumbents

  • Senator Randy Baumgardner (R-White Sulfur Springs), Senate District 8
  • Senator Owen Hill (R-Colorado Springs), Senate District 10
  • Senator Vicki Marble (R-Fort Collins) Senate District 23
  • Senator Larry Crowder (R-Alamosa) Senate District 35

New Senate Candidates

  • Jim Smallwood (R- Parker), Senate District 4
  • Bob Gardner (R-Colorado Springs) Senate District 12
  • Representative Angela Williams (D-Denver), Senate District 33

House Incumbents

  • House Majority Leader Crisanta Duran (D-Denver), House District 5
  • Representative Paul Rosenthal (D-Denver), House District 9
  • Representative Dan Nordberg (R-Colorado Springs), House District 14
  • Representative Paul Lundeen (R-Monument), House District 19
  • Representative Terry Carver (R-Colorado Springs) House District 20
  • Representative Lois Landgraf (R-Colorado Springs), House District 21
  • Representative Justin Everett (R-Littleton), House District 22
  • Representative Tim Leonard (R-Evergreen), House District 25
  • Representative Lang Sias (R-Arvada), House District 27
  • Representative Tracy Kraft-Tharp (D-Arvada), House District 29
  • Representative Cole Wist (R-Centennial), House District 37
  • Representative Polly Lawrence (R-Littleton), House District 39
  • Representative Janet Buckner (D-Aurora), House District 40
  • Representative Kevin Van Winkle (R-Highlands Ranch), House District 43
  • Representative Kim Ransom (R-Littleton), House District 44
  • Representative Patrick Neville (R-Franktown), House District 45
  • Representative Clarice Navarro-Ratzlaff (R-Pueblo), House District 47
  • Representative Stephen Humphrey (R-Eaton), House District 48
  • Representative Perry Buck (R-Windsor), House District 49
  • Representative Yeulin Willett (R-Grand Junction), House District 54
  • Representative Dan Thurlow (R-Grand Junction), House District 55
  • Representative Bob Rankin (R-Carbondale), House District 57
  • Representative Don Coram (R-Montrose), House District 58
  • Representative James “Jim” Wilson (R-Salida), House District 60
  • Representative Lori Saine (R-Firestone), House District 63
  • Representative John Becker (R-Fort Morgan), House District 65

New House Candidates

  • Chris Hansen (D-Denver), House District 6
  • James Coleman (D-Denver), House District 7
  • Leslie Herod (D-Denver), House District 8
  • Dave Williams (R-Colorado Springs), House District 15
  • Larry Liston (R-Colorado Springs), House District 16
  • Chris Hadsall (R-Lakewood), House District 23
  • Susan Beckman (R-Littleton), House District 38
  • Hugh McKean (R-Fort Lupton), House District 51
  • Philip Covarrubias (R-Brighton), House District 56
  • Kimmi Lewis (R-Kim), House District 64

Candidates Who Lost

Here are the CACI-endorsed new candidates who lost:

  • Nancy Doty (R-Littleton), Senate District 26
  • Katy Brown (R-Denver), House District 3
  • Jessica Sandgren (R-Thornton), House District 31
  • Bob Mattive (R-Monte Vista), House District 62

Here are the CACI-endorsed incumbents who lost:

  • Senator Laura Woods (R-Arvada), Senate District 19
  • Representative Kit Roupe (R-Colorado Springs), House District 17
  • Representative Joann Windholz (R-Commerce City), House District 30
  • Representative J. Paul Brown (R-Ignacio), House District 59

For more information about CACI’s legislative-candidate slate, contact Loren “Slugger” Furman, CACI Senior Vice President, State and Federal Relations, at 303.866.9642.

Federal Policy News

National Election Results Bring Surprises and Potential Relief for Businesses…

Last night voters watched an election of historic proportions, in part because polling numbers and political analysts predicted negative down-ballot ripple effects for Congressional Republicans and even state races – but those predictions weren’t reflected in race outcomes.

This cycle there were significantly more Senate GOP seats up for re-elect than there were Democratic seats (24 of 34 seats, with 8 deemed “at risk” seats).  This was particularly important because as polling began to tilt more heavily toward a Hillary Clinton win, numbers suggested enough potential momentum for Democrats to divert campaign funds to Senate races, in an effort to take back and potentially control the Senate — by as much as three seats.

However, last night Senate GOP incumbents in Missouri, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida and North Carolina held “red,” while Sen. Ron Johnson edged out former Sen. Russ Feingold in Democrat-friendly Wisconsin.  Of the 10 “at-risk” Senate seats identified more than a year ago, only Illinois** ousted their GOP incumbent.  In the House, Democrats were able to flip seven seats, while Republicans flipped just two seats – all other House races either remained in the incumbent’s party control or the incumbent was re-elected.

Why this is important for business:  Whichever party controls the Senate and/or House, controls that house’s committee chairmanships, committee member assignments, as well as setting the calendar for legislative priorities.  With a President Trump being sworn into office on January 20, 2017, the White House, U.S. Senate and U.S. House will all three be controlled by the Republican party.  From 2008 to 2010, Democrats controlled the White House and Congress under President Obama, but the last time Republicans controlled all three was under President George W. Bush from 2005 – 2007.  Before that, there was a 76-year stretch from 1929.  (Worth noting: This set-up is likely to stay for the next four years and two House cycles, as the 2018 mid-term elections has Democrats defending 23-25 Senate seats vs. only eight GOP seats.)

Particularly for the Senate, one of the first orders of business during the “lame duck” session (until the end of this year) will be funding the government through another CR, and moderates on all sides are likely to push for approval of the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement – something Trump has said he would veto.  To start the 115th Congress, the Senate’s first priority will be to vet and confirm a President Trump nominee for the Supreme Court bench to replace Justice Scalia, followed by proposals to repeal Obamacare.

In the U.S. Senate:  The Republican Party started with a 54-46 majority and will maintain at least a 51-47 vote majority**, led by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY).  Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will take over the mantle of Minority Leader from retiring Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV).

Colorado’s senior Senator, Michael Bennet (D) was re-elected to a second term in office by a closer-than-expected margin of 48.9% to 45.8% against Daryl Glenn (R).

States still in play for Senate:

Louisiana has a jungle primary where the outright winner must have 50% +1 vote to declare a winner.  OR if that isn’t achieved, the top two finishers, regardless of party, go to a run off December 10th.  John Kennedy (R) finished ahead of Foster Campbell (D) by 7.5%, with sitting Rep. Charles Boustany (R) in third by 2% — meaning the seat is likely to be retained by Republicans.  Expect to see a lot of national attention given to this race in coming weeks to ensure/limit the majority held by Republicans in the U.S. Senate.

**New Hampshire’s race was too close to call as of 3pm today, however Incumbent GOP Senator Kelly Ayotte was behind Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan by 1,023 votes out of nearly 738,000 votes cast and chose to concede.

In the U.S. House:  The Republican Party will also maintain their control of the House by a margin of 239 – 193.  For Colorado, our House delegation was re-elected to serve another two years in office.

1st Cong. District:             Rep. Diana DeGette (D)                 Won by 39%       Against Stockham

2nd Cong. District:             Rep. Jared Polis (D)                         Won by 19%       Against Morse

3rd Cong. District:             Rep. Scott Tipton (R)                      Won by 13%       Against Schwartz

4th Cong. District:             Rep. Ken Buck (R)                            Won by 33%       Against Seay

5th Cong. District:             Rep. Doug Lamborn (R)                 Won by 31%       Against Plowright

6th Cong. District:             Rep. Mike Coffman (R)                  Won by 9%         Against Carroll

7th Cong. District:             Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D)                  Won by 15%       Against Athanasopoulos

Shifting Presidential Priorities:

President Trump will take office with Congress controlled by the GOP, but it is not likely Congress will rubber-stamp the president-elect’s priorities.  In the Senate, a small majority means not only is more consensus required to reach 60 votes for a Motion to Proceed (“MTP”) during a filibuster, Democrats are more likely to exercise the filibuster, particularly in challenging a Supreme Court nominee.  And while Speaker Paul Ryan and Trump have publicly reconciled differences, expect to see Ryan challenging positions of both Trump and the emboldened Freedom Caucus (who say they will challenge Ryan for his speakership gavel in December).

On the campaign trail, Trump broke from traditional party and business support for international trade – including the potential for removing the U.S. from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the TPP.  Additional potential friction could be found on immigration as it relates to Trump’s proposed deportations, wall-building and limiting legal immigration of individuals from ‘terror-prone regions.’  CACI will be watching both issues closely to monitor how changes, if any, would affect our members and employees.

For President Trump, the public can glimpse a few priorities based on his “Contract with America” plan for his first 100 days in office.  Although the document reads much more like a four-year plan, it includes plans for action such as removing two existing regulations for every regulation the Trump Administration creates.

U.S. Energy & Environment, expect to also see a President Trump:

  • Remove President Obama’s restrictions/moratoriums on production of energy reserves, both offshore and on federal land, for coal, natural gas, shale and oil
  • Support an “all of the above” energy strategy which includes solar, but at a minimum reducing barriers and regulations inhibiting development across the board
  • Block the Clean Power Plan and its regulatory mandates, as well as cancel U.S. participation in the Paris Climate Accord (The CPP was how the U.S. was supposed to comply with the Paris Accord requirements)
  • Cancel the U.S.’s payments to United Nations climate change programs
    • Trump proposes using savings from the above plans to fund ‘America’s water and environmental infrastructure’ investments

Overtime Rule:

  • The Department of Labor’s Overtime Rule still goes into effect on December 1, 2016, and businesses will be required to comply with the new regulation.
  • However, Trump has said that at least small businesses should be exempted from the overtime rule, while also saying he would consider a phase-in or delay of the rule for larger employers.
    • CACI will be working with the business community and our Congressional delegation to educate the president-elect on why the overtime rule is harmful to businesses of all sizes.


  • President-elect Trump campaigned on a platform of repealing Obamacare within his first 100 days in office.
  • Both Senate Majority Leader McConnell and House Speaker Ryan are committed to fulfilling this campaign promise and McConnell has said an Obamacare repeal would be a priority for the Senate at the beginning of 2017.
    • As noted above, any major legislative change such as a repeal of Obamacare, would require major across-the-aisle work to get the necessary votes for either the House or Senate to move forward.  This is one instance where campaign promises will be tested against political wills for both parties.

CACI Joins NAM in Letter to President-Elect Trump Concerning Business Commitment to Unite Post-Election America

CACI President Chuck Berry joined National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons and more than 1,100 other manufacturing and business leaders from across the United States in pledging to help bring the country back together after a divisive election.

The letter to President-Elect Trump also expressed an urgent need to communicate and work productively with the new Administration and 115th Congress on key issues to reach the full economic potential of the U.S.

“Manufacturing and business leaders from across the country have pledged to rebuild trust in our democratic and economic institutions so that we can ensure our exceptional country offer abundant opportunity to all,” said Timmons.

Signatures for the letter, and these important commitments from business leaders, were gathered over a period of nearly two weeks, well before the results of the election were known.  The effort was initiated by Timmons; Tenneco Inc. Chairman and CEO and NAM Board Chair Gregg Sherrill; and Emerson Chairman and CEO and NAM Board Chair-Elect David Farr.