SD-19 Vacancy Committee Discussion Thread

UPDATE #3: More statements via the Colorado Senate Majority Office:

“Congratulations to Rachel Zenzinger!  Despite recent challenges, we are united toward building a stronger Colorado in a bipartisan way,” said Pres. Pro Tempore Lucia Guzman. 

“We are pleased to welcome Rachel Zenzinger to the Colorado Senate.  Rachel will diligently serve a diverse district on the issues that are most important to the district.  I have the utmost confidence that she will be fair, collaborative, and deliberate when representing the people of her community,” said Pres.-elect Morgan Carroll. 

Incoming Sen. Rachel Zenzinger:

“I thank the members of the vacancy committee for the effort they invested in this difficult process to select a successor to Sen. Evie Hudak, and I look forward to justifying their faith in me.  Thank you to all my supporters who gave me so much encouragement during the last two weeks, and thanks especially to Sara Gagliardi for giving the vacancy committee such a strong option.  Now we have to move forward, and I am eager to get to work on the tough issues facing our state, including economic development, job creation, education, transportation and healthcare.”

Former Rep. Sara Gagliardi, who lost the vacancy election by a respectable 39-27 margin:

“I want to thank my friends, family and others who have supported me in the past two weeks.  While I am disappointed not to return to the State Legislature where I have served Colorado, I have confidence in tonight's choice, Rachel Zenzinger, and I will continue my work in healthcare and on the labor front!”


UPDATE #2: Statement from Colorado Democratic Party chairman Rick Palacio:

“I am proud to have Rachel Zenzinger serve as the next State Senator for District 19,” Palacio said.
 “Rachel Zenzinger has a history of being a pragmatic leader who works across party lines to get things done for her community, and I’m confident that she will represent the people of Westminster and Arvada well,”
 “In addition, I’m hopeful that Colorado’s Republicans will put partisanship aside, and commit to working with Rachel Zenzinger and our Democratic majority to tackle the issues important to Colorado families and small businesses.”


UPDATE: Arvada City Councilwoman Rachel Zenzinger wins on the first ballot.


Former Rep. Sara Gagliardi and Arvada Councilwoman Rachel Zenzinger, SD-19 candidates.

Former Rep. Sara Gagliardi and Arvada Councilwoman Rachel Zenzinger, SD-19 candidates.

FOX 31's Eli Stokols, tonight's the night:

A group of 73 Democratic activists will vote Tuesday night on a successor for former Sen. Evie Hudak, who resigned last month in order to avoid a potential recall election and to keep the seat — and the state Senate itself — in Democratic control through November.

The panel will choose between two candidates: former state Rep. Sara Gagliardi and Rachel Zenzinger, a member of the Arvada City Council.

The choice for Democrats on the vacancy committee is somewhat similar to those Republicans have faced in so many recent primary fights: a question of one candidate who appeals more to the party’s base and another who may have more appeal come general election time.

We'll update this evening with results and more. Stay tuned.

39 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ProgressiveCowgirlProgressiveCowgirl says:

    Anybody decided on a hashtag for tweets from the event yet? #COSD19? 

  2. warm_spring_day says:

    Is bad hair a requirement for this seat? Jeees

  3. Smoking MirrorSmoking Mirror says:

    I'm not too fussed about the hair.  They both kind of look like high school teachers.  But I gotta ask: What's up with the red jackets?

  4. JeffcoDemoJeffcoDemo says:

    I don't know Sara but Rachel is an amazing woman who is seemingly tireless in her efforts to help her community.  I think she would be an appealing candidate to anyone but the real nut jobs as she is pragmatic and effective.  I will be rooting for her this evening.

    if you follow the link to Eli's story you can see that they are required to wear the same color outfit whenever they are shown next to each other.

  5. roccoprahn says:

    Both candidates were elequent during thier speeches tonight. Both touched on the fact this shouldn't have happened, and both mentioned that recalls should be about malfeasance, not legal votes that happen to differ with a fringe group's idea as to what should be and what shouldn't. Both praised Senator Hudak and honored her sacrifice in stepping down.

    While Rachel carried the day, Sarah would have been a great Senator as well. We were very lucky to have 2 great candidates. SD19 is well served.

    The paperwork will be turned into Gessler and Senator Zenzinger will be sworn in on Friday, I believe. Thus there will not be a 17-17 tie, but a Democratic 18-17 Majority.

  6. MADCO says:


    Rachel Zenzinger!??

    What do we have to do to recall her?

  7. nancycronk says:

    I agree with Roccoprahn. Both women are highly skilled and well respected. Congratulations to Senaator Zenzinger! 

    I was with Senator Hudak tonight. It was a very tough day for her. Please continue to thank her for her selflessness. It is beyond imagine what it would feel like to quit the job you've dreamed of to save the political party you love, and the jobs of others (like Senator Carroll's position, for example). Evie will always be a hero to so many Coloradans. 

    And since I haven't been on Pols for many months (Did you miss me or were you glad I was gone? Don't answer that.), I hope all of you have Happy Holidays! You can find me these days planning women's political events at Progressive Women of Colorado. Hope you'll come check us out sometime!

  8. nancycronk says:

    Thanks, Duke. I miss everyone here, too. I talked to Cong Ed Perlmutter yesterday who bet me the Republicans are going to put Tancredo up against Hickenlooper. I thought my old Pols friends would have a good laugh at that one. Can't wait until he pays up.

    Oh BTW, in the past four days, I've seen Congresswoman Diana DeGette, Congressman Ed Perlmutter, Candidates Romanoff and Markey out at public events. For 22 years, I've lived three miles or less from Congressman Mike Coffman and seen him exactly once — and that was because it was a photo op for tv. Just where does he go between sessions? Dubai?

  9. nancycronk says:

    Come to think of it. I hope Ed's right. I hope Tancredo is the annointed one. I'll gladly pay the dollar wager.

  10. BlueCat says:

    Not living in the district I thought this thread would fill me in on the two candidates. At least I now know a lot about how folks here feel about hair styles and jacket colors. I think the winner of a City Council City race makes more sense, hair and the color red aside, as the better choice for getting elected down the road. So congrats to SD 19.

    • roccoprahn says:

      BC, both candidates are well suited for the SD but I'm thinking there are a couple reasons the majority of Committee members felt Rachel is the way forward.

      There are some nasty rumors the szabot is running for SD19 next November. While HD27 is admittedly baggie/gunzo, nonetheless, szabo bested Sara in '10 and Tim Allport in '12. Some feel if Sara had lost to szabo once, even in just a HD race, Rachel will be the stronger candidate should szabo run.

      Another plus for Rachel is that she ran Evie's campaign in'12. She knows the District. There is exactly a .01% Democratic advantage, about 560 votes max. The winner can't rely on just party support, but must draw from the indies. The district is broken down 33/33/34. Rachel is a well respected City Council Member and the Arvada Mayor Pro Tem. (For what it's worth, she was the only City Council Member that voted "no" on the 58th and Independance Walmart.) 

      This is a race that's going to get very nasty. Duke put up coloradopeakpolitics' version of what happened at Westlake Community Center last night, and the venom was dripping 11 months out, with no redleg candidate even put up. Rachel's emotionally tough enough to absorb the teabag poison and keep swinging. She's got plenty of cred', and seriously and aggressively supports the two main focal points of Evie's agenda………..early childhood education and the elderly.

      There was perhaps another dynamic in play. Not a big one, but one worth noting. Possibly a generational diversity. Sara's 55 or 56, Rachel 's in her late 30's.She's had serious experience working with at risk and economically disadvantaged students and has been Graduate Education Dept. Program Coordinator at Regis  University for a while now.

      She's on the Arvada Urban Drainage and Flood Control District Boards, and they were the people that ran the Arvada canal system so successfully during the floods 2 months ago. Believe me, when you don't get flooded out, if you have any brains at all, you fondly remember the people that did thier jobs and got that done.

      As time goes on, we'll find out her opponent, but the republicans will be hard pressed, what with no bench, to match her qualifications. They'll have to get nasty (what's new). The combination of the Democrats running an extremely intelligent and qualified candidate against a republican bomb throwing zealot should garner enough indies to carry the race.

Leave a Reply

Comment from your Facebook account

You may comment with your Colorado Pols account above (click here to register), or via Facebook below.