Feb 9, 2022 - News

Colorado's new Senate president represents a notable shift

Sen. Steve Fenberg on the Senate floor in 2019. Photo: Joe AmonDenver Post via Getty Images

The Democratic-controlled General Assembly just got a little more liberal leaning.

State of play: On Wednesday, Democratic senators selected Boulder Democrat Steve Fenberg, the current majority leader, to serve as the next Senate president.

  • Effective Feb. 23, Fenberg will replace current chamber leader Leroy Garcia, the term-limited Pueblo Democrat who is resigning to take a Defense Department job in Washington.

Why it matters: As Senate president, Fenberg will guide the Democratic agenda and hold significant say in what legislation will advance.

  • An astute tactician, the 38-year-old former political operative, is one of the most progressive lawmakers in the Senate and a close ally of Gov. Jared Polis.
  • In contrast, Garcia is a moderate who bucked his own party at times and voted against key Democratic measures, including gun regulations.

What he's saying: Fenberg, whose term ends in 2024, acknowledged the change of perspective but pledged to be pragmatic and work in bipartisan fashion when possible.

The big picture: The top three posts at the state Capitol are now controlled by Boulder and Denver, the state's Democratic strongholds.

  • Polis is from Boulder and House Speaker Alec Garnett lives in Denver.

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