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A political quarrel erupted earlier this month, garnering the attention of national media, after a state Republican lawmaker accused his hometown newspaper of publishing “fake news” and was subsequently threatened with a lawsuit. At the center of the fray: Sen. Ray Scott, The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel and the delay of a hearing for Senate Bill 40, which would update the state’s open records law. Scott told The Colorado Statesman that as chair of the state Senate’s Veteran and Military Affairs committee, he was asked for the delay to address security concerns brought forth by legislators and a “substantial list” of public entities.

Years of losses have left Democrats at historic lows in state legislatures. But now they’re seeking to wrest control of as many as a dozen chambers from Republicans, a key step in gaining more influence in redistricting. The battle for statehouse control is playing out in more than half the states with tens of millions of dollars of planned political spending before the Nov. 8 general election. Democrats are hoping the turmoil surrounding Donald Trump’s presidential campaign can boost their fortunes in down-ballot races, although Hillary Clinton remains unpopular in many Republican-leaning regions. “When you go district by district, when you look at where all these races are, we’re in a highly competitive environment,” said Matt Walter, president of the Republican State Leadership Committee.