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These five Democratic women can flip the Colorado Senate

The ‘Fab 5’ are setting their sights on November.

By Eric Boehlert - September 13, 2018
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Colorado state Sen. Kerry Donovan
Colorado state Sen. Kerry Donovan

Colorado Democrats are hoping to pull off an election trifecta in November by not only keeping control of the governor’s office and the state House, but also flipping the state Senate.

Five Democratic women, including a rancher and a public school advocate, represent the key to that ambitious strategy.

Dubbed the “Fab 5,” they are Kerry Donovan, Tammy Story, Jessie Danielson, Brittany Pettersen, and Faith Winter.

Donovan is a state Senate incumbent who won her election by just 700 votes in 2014. Three of the others, Winter, Danielson and Petterson, are currently members of the Colorado House and are trying to move up to the Senate this election cycle.

If those five are victorious, it’s likely Democrats can win the Senate and once again control statewide government in Colorado.

That would allow Colorado to advance a pro-environment, pro-teacher, anti-NRA agenda. (Candidate Tammy Story enjoys a 0 percent rating from the radical gun group.)

Over the last year, the GOP-controlled Senate was perhaps best known in Colorado for trying to cover up a sexual harassment scandal that involved members of the General Assembly.

A total of 17 out of the 35 seats in the Colorado Senate are contested in this election cycle.

Colorado Democrats have reason to be optimistic this year. During the primary season, 55,000 more Democrats voted than Republicans. And among the unaffiliated voters who were able to participate, 60,000 more opted to vote in the Democratic primary.

Looking towards November, Republicans in Colorado haven’t been able to win a governor’s race since 2002, and Democrats are expected to do well in the House, where they currently enjoy a seven-seat advantage.

The Senate contest, though, could be ridiculously close. Republicans are heading into election season clinging to a one-seat majority in the Senate.

The GOP gained that thin advantage in 2014, and then maintained it in 2016.

Since the GOP seized the Senate, however, Colorado has been moving left. It delivered a comfortable 5-point victory for Hillary Clinton in 2016. Now, Democrats are hoping to capitalize on the anti-Trump backlash across the state.

And because it’s 2018, it makes perfect sense that women are fueling the Democratic charge.

Nationwide, a record number of Democratic women are running for Congress. So far, more than 180 women have been nominated to compete in U.S. House races in November, which breaks the previous record of 167.

That tidal wave of enthusiasm is extending to local races all across the country. And in Colorado, it’s laying the foundation for an all-out Democratic blitz to flip the Senate.


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