Ferrandino elected as new CO House Democratic Leader

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DENVER (AP) -- Colorado House Democrats selected Rep. Mark Ferrandino as their new leader after Rep. Sal Pace stepped down from the post.

Ferrandino has led House Democrats in budget discussions as a member of the Joint Budget Committee.

He is an openly gay lawmaker who co-sponsored legislation to allow civil unions for same-sex couples this year. The bill failed but it's widely expected that Ferrandino will try again next year.

Ferrandino was the only nominee for the leadership position. He promised his party to work on gaining a majority after next year's elections. Republicans currently have a one-vote advantage in the House.

Pace will serve the remainder of his term next year. He resigned his leadership post to focus on a Congressional race against Rep. Scott Tipton in the 3rd District.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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