Thursday, November 18, 2010

GOP winner in Jefferson County gives Republicans majority in state House of Representatives

Jefferson County elections officials have officially certified the victory of Republican Robert Ramirez in district 29, cementing a one-vote majority for the GOP in the state House of Representatives.

Ramirez, a U.S. Navy veteran who holds an associates degree in business administration, defeated incumbent Debbie Benefield by 197 votes out of more than 25,000 cast.

His victory will give the GOP a 33-32 advantage in the lower chamber of the General Assembly when the next legislative session starts in January.

Democrats retained control of the state Senate in elections held earlier this month.

Republicans picked up one seat in that chamber as Rep. Ellen Roberts of Durango defeated Democratic Sen. Bruce Hesperus of Hesperus.

Ramirez joins Mark Barker of Colorado Springs, Don Beezley of Broomfield, Kathleen Conti of Littleton, and Libby Szabo of Arvada as Republican victors over Democratic House incumbents.

The GOP's Keith Swerdferger of Pueblo West won the seat now held by term-limited Democrat Buffie McFadyen.

Besides Benefield, Democrats Dennis Apuan, Sara Gagliardi, Dianne Primavera, and Joe Rice were defeated in Tuesday's election.

Photo of Rep.-elect Robert Ramirez, R-Westminster, courtesy of Ramirez for Colorado.