By Sara Wilson
Colorado state Rep. Adrienne Benavidez announced that she will step down from her position. The move came shortly after she was elected to serve her fourth and final term.
“I am proud of the work we have accomplished during my tenure in the state House. It has been an honor representing my constituents in making policy that works for all. I am ready for my next chapter outside of this golden dome as I plan to continue to work for the people of Colorado,” Benavidez, a Commerce City Democrat, wrote in a letter to the House chief clerk.
Her last day will be Jan. 5, four days before the new legislative session convenes.
“As Speaker Pro Tempore, she exemplified what it means to lead and uphold the institution while being a passionate voice for her constituents, and her work has made Colorado a better place for all.”
Alec Garnett, Democratic Speaker of the House
Benavidez has served in the House since 2017. In the most recent session, she served on the Finance, Judiciary and Legislative Council committees, as well as serving as speaker pro tempore.
“With my fellow Latino legislators, we have grown our caucus to 14 members, the largest in Colorado history. I am proud of our work to engage Latinos across our state and ensure the needs and concerns of our Latino communities are addressed. This outreach and advocacy will continue under their watchful eyes, and I look forward to seeing their continued impact.”
Benavidez came second to Rep. Julie McCluskie of Dillon in the House Democrats’ selection of speaker for the upcoming session. McCluskie chose Rep. Chris deGruy Kennedy as the new speaker pro tempore.
Latino Caucus co-chairs Sen. Julie Gonzales, a Denver Democrat, and Rep.-elect Elizabeth Velasco, a Glenwood Springs Democrat, said that Benavidez’s expertise and guidance will be missed in both the caucus and the chamber as a whole.
“Representative Benavidez has been a bold and fearless leader within both our Latino Caucus and in the Colorado legislature, devoting her time, energy, and expertise to advocating for policies to improve the lives of Colorado’s Latino communities, highlighting the longstanding injustices experienced by Native American communities, and to ensuring social justice for all Coloradans,” they said in a statement.
Outgoing House Speaker Alec Garnett, a Denver Democrat, said he appreciated Benavidez’s partnership and counsel as she served with him in leadership.
“As Speaker Pro Tempore, she exemplified what it means to lead and uphold the institution while being a passionate voice for her constituents, and her work has made Colorado a better place for all,” he said in a statement.
Some of Benavidez’s most significant work in the Legislature includes sponsoring the bills that replaced Columbus Day with Frances Xavier Cabrini Day, repealed the death penalty and prohibited the use of indigenous mascots in schools.
A vacancy committee will select someone to represent House District 35 through 2024. 2020 U.S. Senate candidate Lorena Garcia announced last week she is vying for the spot.
For More Colorado News: ELSEMANARIO.US
- Colorado State Rep. Adrienne Benavidez Announces Resignation - December 30, 2022
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