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Democrats Celebrate Election Gains

Democrats in the state Senate, still celebrating election gains, re-elected Joan Fitz-Gerald as president today.

Fitz-Gerald was the first woman elected as Colorado Senate president two years ago when the Democrats won control of the chamber. During a caucus today at the Capitol, Democrats also re-elected Peter Groff of Denver as Senate president pro tem.

Democrats are taking care of business two days after picking up two seats in the Senate. But they are also celebrating. Senators gave Fitz-Gerald two standing ovations, as well as standing ovations to Democratic Governor-elect Bill Ritter and his Lieutenant Governor-elect, Barbara O'Brien.

The Democrats will have a 20-to-15 majority when the new session starts in January. They had an 18-to-17 advantage the past two years.

Jim Isgar of Hesperus was elected chairman of the Democratic caucus.

Ken Gordon of Denver was re-elected Senate majority leader. Gordon was still waiting for results of another race -- secretary of state.

Republican Mike Coffman has claimed victory in the race for secretary of state but voting problems have held up the results from Denver and Gordon hasn't conceded yet.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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