Jul 27, 2023 - News

Meet the Democrats looking to represent northwest Denver's District 4

Illustration of the Colorado State Capitol with lines radiating from it.

Photo illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios; Photo: Courtesy of DivInc

At least three Democrats — including a former lawmaker — are vying to represent northwest Denver in the state legislature.

State of play: Serena Gonzales-Guiterrez's election to the Denver City Council leaves House District 4 without a representative.

  • The district includes neighborhoods like Jefferson Park, Sunnyside and Westwood.

Why it matters: A replacement will be selected by the party through a vacancy committee, bypassing the traditional election process.

  • The committee is made up of 68 precinct organizers, party members in the city who encourage voter turnout.

Details: Cecelia Espenoza, Rochelle Galindo and Tim Hernández are hoping to represent a district with a large Latino population.

  • Galindo and Hernández identify as progressive Democrats, while Espenoza self-describes as a "mainstream Democrat."

Of note: Galindo served as a state lawmaker for Greeley before allegations of inappropriate behavior led to her resignation in 2019.

Zoom in: All three tell us they have the experience to be effective lawmakers.

  • Espenoza, 64, a retired federal appellate judge, says she would focus on gun safety, ensuring government transparency, and exploring how to expand land use to improve housing.
  • Galindo, 33, who is unemployed, says she will advocate for worker's rights, more rights for tenants, renewable energy, and people with disabilities — a newfound cause after she had a stroke in January, which she says limited mobility on her left side.
  • Hernández, 26, a teacher, says his top priorities would be workplace protections, improving diversity among educators, and gun violence prevention.

What they're saying: "Our kids are growing up in neighborhoods where it is easier to get a gun than a diploma," Hernández says.

  • Espenoza says she pushed the party to include more Spanish-language election outreach during the 2020 election and has pushed to make the party more ethnically diverse.

What's next: It's possible more candidates may emerge, since people can be nominated during the vacancy committee meeting.

  • A meeting date next month to select the new lawmaker has not been set yet, party officials tell us.
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