on November 14, 2014 by in Golden News, Comments Off on Dems tout diversity in leadership picks

Dems tout diversity in leadership picks

The state House Democratic Caucus came together on Nov. 14 to elect a new leadership team that will be made up almost entirely of either minorities or women when lawmakers begin work in January.

They will include Colorado’s first female speaker of the state House of Representatives since 2003.

Rep. Dickey Lee Hullinghorst of Gunbarrel was tabbed speaker following a unanimous vote during a leadership election gathering inside the Capitol.

Hullinghorst, who was first elected to her House District 10 seat in 2008, had previously served as majority leader under outgoing speaker Mark Ferrandino of Denver, who is term-limited.

Hullinghorst thanked her colleagues and recalled what it was like having first walked into the Capitol as an elected official about six years ago.

“It gave me chills, just like I’m feeling right now,” she said.

When Hullinghorst takes the speaker’s gavel in early January, she will become the first female speaker since Lola Spradley.

Hullinghorst will lead a House that has a Democratic majority of 34-31, a smaller seat advantage than Ferrandino enjoyed last year, due to a few Democratic losses in the Nov. 4 election.

Ferrandino also had the luxury of a Democratic Senate majority. That won’t happen now that Republicans hold a one-seat advantage in that chamber following election results from earlier this month.

“There are those who say that a split legislature is a huge challenge…” Hullinghorst said. “I prefer to consider it a huge opportunity.”

Hullinghorst also praised Ferrandino’s two-year stewardship in the House, where she said the outgoing speaker “accomplished more for the people of Colorado than any other Legislature.”

The election of Hullinghorst for speaker by acclimation was one of the few uncontested leadership races voted on by House Democrats.

Among the contested battles was that of House Majority Leader, which Rep. Crisanta Duran of Denver won.

“She knows how to work across the aisle and she knows how to build a coalition,” said Rep. Daniel Kagan of Cherry Hills Village, who nominated Duran for the post.

Duran beat out current Majority Leader Dan Pabon of Denver. Pabon was widely considered to be a candidate for House speaker as well. Instead, he threw his support behind Hullinghorst.

After losing the majority leader election, Pabon told Duran, “You’ve got my 100 percent support.”

Rep. Dominick Moreno of Commerce City will serve as Duran’s assistant majority leader after beating out Denver Rep. Beth McCann for the post.

Moreno was first elected to the House in 2012 and has the least amount of experience among members of the new leadership team. Moreno said that he has always dismissed talk of him not having enough experience in any endeavor he has undertaken.

“I wouldn’t be here standing before you today if I hadn’t proved them wrong,” he said.

Rep. Sue Ryden of Aurora will serve as House majority whip, a position charged with counting and rounding up votes. Rep. Brittany Pettersen of Lakewood will serve as assistant whip.

Rep. Angela Williams of Denver was elected Democratic caucus chairperson.

Rep. Mike Foote of Lafayette was the only non-minority or non-female elected to a leadership post. He will serve as assistant caucus chairperson.


Golden Transcript – Latest Stories

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a comment

XHTML: Allowed tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>