Senate Dems elect leadership for 2011 session

Democrats in the Colorado State Senate today announced their leadership for the 2011 session. They are:

Senate President: Sen. Brandon Shaffer (SD-17, Longmont)

Senate President Pro Tempore: Sen. Betty Boyd (SD-21, Lakewood)

Senate Majority Leader: Sen. John Morse (SD-11, Colorado Springs)

Assistant Senate Majority Leader: Sen. Lois Tochtrop (SD-24, Thornton)

Majority Caucus Chair: Sen. Morgan Carroll (SD-29, Aurora)

Joint Budget Committee Members: Sen. Mary Hodge (SD-25, Brighton), Sen. Pat Steadman (SD-31, Denver)

“The campaigns are over. Now, let’s get to work,” Shaffer said in a release. We need to balance our budget and lead Colorado to economic recovery. I look forward to having the Republicans work with us on Colorado’s most important issues.

“One thing I tried to bring to the Senate last year was collaboration, and I think we succeeded. We’re not going to agree on every issue, but we worked with the Republicans last year and we will continue to do so.”

Boyd echoed Shaffer’s comments regarding bi-partisanism.

“We have created a partnership in leadership,” Boyd said. “I’m proud to continue that work. I look forward to working together as a caucus to get the people’s work done.”

Morse was re-elected by less than 300 votes in his highly contested Colorado Springs district. He was first elected to the seat in 2006, when he became the first openly Democratic candidate to win a seat in the Senate from Colorado Springs in more than 30 years.

“I am honored to continue fulfilling my role as Majority Leader for the State Senate,” Morse said. “We will tackle some tough issues this session and I’m prepared to work with my colleagues to create some innovative and solvent solutions for Colorado.”

“Before November, it’s about politics. After November, it’s about policy. It’s time to get started,” Tochtrop said.

“The budget is our number one responsibility,” Steadman said. “I’m excited to have been selected to serve on this influential and prestigious committee. I look forward to getting down to business and taking on the difficult task of creating a balanced budget that best serves the interests of Coloradans across the state.”

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Scot Kersgaard has been managing editor of a political newspaper, editor and co-owner of a ski town newspaper, executive editor of eight high-tech magazines (where he worked with current Apple CEO Tim Cook), deputy press secretary to a U.S. Senator, and an outdoors columnist at the Rocky Mountain News. He has an English degree from the University of Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to study internet journalism at the University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He was student body president in college. He spends his free time hiking and skiing.

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