A night of excitement has dwindled to anxious chatter in the Confluence Ballroom in The Westin Downtown Denver.
Despite Hillary Clinton’s stunning loss to Donald J. Trump, Senator Michael Bennet retained his seat against challenger Daryl Glenn, and Democrats will hold onto three of the state’s seven U.S. House Districts.
“Truly we are stronger together,” District 2 U.S House Representative Jared Polis said, echoing Clintons losing slogan. “I’m excited to go back to Washington, D.C. to get to work.”
Along with Polis, Democratic winners included Diana DeGette in District 1 and Ed Perlmutter in District 7. Republican incumbent Mike Coffman held off Democratic challenger Morgan Carroll to keep Colorado red in the U.S. House.
The excitement for the night mainly came from Sen. Michael Bennet retaining his seat in the U.S Senate, soundly defeating Republican Darryl Glenn. Governor John Hickenlooper had supportive words for his former staffer.
“Bennet was part of my staff while I was mayor of Denver, and from my perspective, I wouldn’t be here without him,” Hickenlooper said.
Bennet had praise for everyone in the room, as well as those who have been a part of his campaign.
“You live in the most dynamic and beautiful state in the United States of America; this is a state filled with people who are kind to one another, and conscious of the legacy they are going to be leaving their children,” Bennet said.
Bennet continued to thank his family, his campaign staff, and his campaign manager before making one last statement.
“I have to ask the people of this room for one more sacrifice: Washington has a lot to learn from Colorado, and we need to continue that example,” Bennet said.
Reaction from the room for Bennet, Polis, and the state house was very excited, yet quite subdued as Clinton’s defeat approached inevitability.
Two lines of thought were prevalent during this watch party: one of optimism about local elections, and one of disheartened disbelief.
“I’m really glad that Bennet won, he is one of those key people in Congress who can get things done,” Martha Obermiller said. “He’s worked on biotechnology which is really big in this state, and I’m just glad he won.”
Optimism quietly permeated throughout the room, although disbelief seemed to be the dominant feeling.
“I saw that Bennet won, and honestly…does it even matter?” Kwame Apraku said, visibly frustrated. “Trump won’t listen to Congress, even with the seats Democrats won, it doesn’t even matter if Trump wins.”