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December 20, 2022

Garnett, McCluskie, Duran and Latino Caucus Co-Chairs Statements on Speaker Pro Tempore Benavidez Resignation

DENVER, CO – Speaker Alec Garnett, Latino Caucus Co-Chairs Senator Julie Gonzales and Representative-elect Elizabeth Velasco, and Speaker-designate Julie McCluskie today released the following statements after Speaker Pro Tempore Adrienne Benavidez announced her resignation from the House. 

Statement from Speaker Alec Garnett, D-Denver:

“Speaker Pro Tempore Benavidez has served the people of our state with distinction and grace, and I have deeply appreciated her partnership and counsel over the last two years as she served in leadership. Rep. Benavidez has passed laws to improve air and water quality for communities disproportionately impacted by pollution and climate change, and she was a champion for Indigenous people in the legislature. 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.”

Statement from Latino Caucus Co-Chairs Senator Julie Gonzales, D-Denver, and Representative-elect Elizabeth Velasco, D-Glenwood Springs, on behalf of the Latino Caucus:

“The Colorado Democratic Latino Caucus honors and recognizes the contributions made by Madam Speaker Pro Tempore, Representative Adrienne Benavidez over her six years of service in the Colorado General Assembly. 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. 

“Representative Benavidez served as a madrina and a mentor to many of us in the Capitol, for her constituents, and out in the community. Her guidance and expertise will be missed not only by the Latino Caucus but within the Democratic Caucus in the Colorado House of Representatives. We wish her well as she transitions out of the legislature, but make no mistake; our Latino Caucus is strong and united thanks to Representative Adrienne Benavidez.”

Statement from Speaker-designate Julie McCluskie, D-Dillon:

“I want to thank Speaker Pro Tempore Benavidez for her years of dedication and critical work on behalf of all Coloradans, and I wish her the best of luck on the next chapter of her career in public service. Speaker Pro Tempore Benavidez has always worked to do what’s best for Colorado, and has been a mentor to dozens of lawmakers. I will miss her brilliant legal mind and the deep experience that she brought to every new challenge.”

Statement from Majority Leader-elect Monica Duran, D- Wheat Ridge:

“Speaker Pro Tempore Benavidez has been a teacher to so many in the legislature and brought her unparalleled intelligence and unbridled work ethic to the Capitol every day to fight for her constituents and people all across our state. Her advocacy on behalf of communities living with polluted air and water led to landmark reforms, increased air monitoring, and important new restrictions on toxic pollution. A leader in the Latino caucus, Rep. Benavidez is someone we all look up to, and I’ve deeply appreciated her mentorship. I wish her the best of luck on whatever comes next in her long career in public service.”

Adrienne Benavidez represents House District 32, which includes Commerce City and parts of unincorporated Adams County. Rep. Benavidez sponsored legislation that successfully repealed the death penalty in Colorado and reformed the state’s tax code. She has passed laws to protect our air from toxic pollutants, crack down on catalytic converter theft, reform Colorado’s criminal justice system. Rep. Benavidez led efforts to protect communities disproportionately impacted by pollution and climate change, crafted economic stimulus legislation to boost Colorado’s creative industry, passed laws that prohibit the use of Native American mascots in public schools and created Cabrini Day, which last year replaced Columbus Day as a state holiday in Colorado.

Rep. Benavidez is an attorney and management professional. She is a former executive director of the City of Denver’s Department of General Services, which handles city purchasing and manages 128 city buildings. Previously, she directed the state Division of Finance and Procurement under Gov. Bill Ritter.

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