New class of Colorado state lawmakers pick leaders for next year: Becker, Holbert, Garcia and Neville

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DENVER | After Colorado Democrats won control of the state Senate and shored up control of the state House, both parties chose legislative leaders for next year.

Democrats will control both chambers as well as the governorship won by U.S. Rep. Jared Polis.

Colorado’s House majority leader, KC Becker, has been elected speaker by fellow Democrats for the 2019 legislative session.

Becker was chosen Thursday during party caucus in which Democrats marked their increased House majority.

Rep. Alec Garnett of Denver will replace Becker as majority leader. Jefferson County Rep. Chris Kennedy was selected assistant majority leader, and Rep. Edie Hooten of Boulder County was named caucus chair.

House Speaker Crisanta Duran was limited after serving four House terms and could not seek re-election.

As for House Republicans, Rep. Patrick Neville of Douglas County remains minority leader. Rep. Kevin Van Winkle of Highlands Ranch was chosen assistant minority leader. Firestone Rep. Lori Saine becomes GOP caucus chair.

In the state Senate, Republican Chris Holbert of Douglas County will be Senate minority leader in Colorado’s 2019 legislative session.

Republicans, cast into the Senate minority in Tuesday’s elections, also chose Sen. John Cooke of Greeley as assistant minority leader and Sen. Vicki Marble of Fort Collins as GOP caucus chair.

Pueblo’s Sen. Leroy Garcia will serve as president of a Colorado Senate now that Democrats control it.

Sen. Lois Court of Arapahoe County was named president pro-tem. Sen. Steve Fenberg of Boulder County and Sen.-elect Faith Winter of Westminster were elected majority leader and caucus chair, respectively.

Democrats will hold a 19-16 majority when the Senate next convenes in January.