COLORADO: Giffords Endorses Gun Safety Candidates for State Legislature
These candidates have made fighting for a safer Colorado a central issue in their campaigns
Washington, DC — Giffords PAC, the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, endorsed 20 candidates for the Colorado legislature. The candidates come from across the state and are united in their dedication to gun safety. They understand the needs of their communities and will do everything they can to achieve commonsense solutions. Colorado has led the nation with the passage of universal background checks and extreme risk protection order laws, but we know there is still more work to be done. These candidates will build on the impressive progress that has already been made and continue to make Colorado a leader in gun safety.
Statement from former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, co-founder of Giffords:
“Colorado is an inspiration to other states across the country because of its leadership on key gun safety issues. Coloradans know that it is possible to pass commonsense gun safety laws that respect responsible gun ownership. It’s important that the state has leaders who will continue this fight and put an end to gun violence once and for all. I am proud to endorse these impressive candidates, which includes survivors of gun violence, incumbents who have championed gun safety, and first-time candidates who have pledged their support for gun safety, in their bids to protect Colorado communities as members of the Colorado House and Senate.”
Today’s Giffords Endorsements are:
- Sonya Jaquez Lewis (Senate District 17) Sonya Jaquez Lewis represents Senate District 17 in the Colorado state legislature. Sonya is a licensed pharmacist who previously served as the Medicaid Pharmacy Director for Colorado Access. While serving in the state legislature, she has maintained leadership positions in several nonprofit and volunteer organizations, including the Boulder County Board of Health and Out Boulder. Sonya is committed to supporting commonsense gun violence prevention measures to keep Coloradoans safe. During her time in the Colorado Senate, Sonya has supported extreme risk protection laws to prevent those in crisis from accessing guns. Sonya Jaquez Lewis has shown up for Coloradoans by supporting gun safety measures, and she will continue to fight for the safety of her community if reelected to the Colorado Senate.
- Steve Fenberg (Senate District 18) Steve Fenberg represents District 18 in the Colorado Senate. He has dedicated his life to public service, most notably in serving as founding executive director for New Era Colorado, a youth civic engagement organization. Steve is also a part-owner of Bread Bar, a bar and small business. Steve understands the importance of keeping communities safe from gun violence. Steve’s advocacy is backed up by action. He cosponsored and helped pass a measure to enforce extreme risk protection order laws and has consistently voted against efforts to roll back Colorado’s universal background check laws. Steve Fenberg has proven time and time again that he is willing to fight for the safety of Coloradians and will continue to do so if reelected to a second term in the Colorado Senate.
- Rachel Zenzinger (Senate District 19) Rachel Zenzinger is a member of the Colorado Senate, representing District 19. Rachel has a background in education, having received her undergraduate and masters degrees from Regis University, and is a licensed secondary-level social studies teacher. Prior to her service in the Colorado legislature, Rachel was elected twice to the Arvada City Council and sat on various organizational boards, including the Arvada Center, Ralston house, and the Denver Regional Council of Government. As an educator, Rachel is all too familiar with the dangers of gun violence that occur in America, especially within schools. During her tenure in the Colorado Senate, Rachel has stood up for gun safety and protecting the communities she serves. With her support, extreme risk protection laws have been enacted to help prevent individuals in crisis from accessing firearms. Rachel Zenzinger will continue to advocate for gun safety legislation if reelected to the Colorado Senate.
- Jeff Bridges (Senate District 26) Jeff Bridges represents District 26 in the Colorado Senate. Born and raised in Littleton, Jeff grew up attending Colorado public schools and has worked in various capacities across the state. Jeff received a Master’s of Divinity from Harvard, which taught him how to coalesce diverse communities around shared values. Before holding elected office, he was a campaign spokesman for former US Representative John Salazar. Jeff also worked for Senator Ken Salazar in the US Senate and served as associate vice president at Union Theological Seminary. Jeff supports commonsense gun safety measures and seeks to prevent gun violence tragedies. In his first term in the Colorado Senate, Jeff voted for extreme risk protection order laws, which prevent an individual in crisis from accessing a firearm. Jeff Bridges understands Colorado’s communities and will fight tirelessly to ensure their safety.
- Chris Kolker (Senate District 27) Chris Kolker is the Democratic nominee seeking to represent District 27. Prior to entering politics, Chris was a high school teacher and is now a financial planner and small business owner. As a former public school teacher, Chris understands the reality of firearm-related tragedies that occur all across the country, including in schools. Chris supports strong gun safety measures and the implementation of Colorado’s extreme risk protection order law. Chris is ready to support gun safety measures if elected to the Colorado Senate.
- Rhonda Fields (Senate District 29) After three terms in the Colorado House of Representatives for Aurora’s District 42, Rhonda Fields was elected to the state senate in 2016, becoming the first African-American woman to serve Senate District 29. Rhonda raised her two children, Maisha and Javad, in Aurora. She entered politics after her work as a victims’ rights advocate in the wake of the murders of her son, Javad Fields, and his fiancée, Vivian Wolfe. Rhonda is a fearless champion for gun safety, as she believes all Coloradoans deserve to live free from fear of violence. Throughout her political career, Rhonda has been a leader in pushing commonsense gun safety legislation, including instituting universal background checks, limiting high-capacity magazines, and closing the boyfriend loophole that presently allows convicted domestic abusers and stalkers to access firearms. She also helped lead the recent bipartisan effort on police reform. Rhonda will continue to stand at the forefront of gun safety reform if reelected to the Colorado Senate.
- Alec Garnett (House District 2) Alec Garnett is currently the Majority Leader of the Colorado House, representing District Two. Prior to being elected in 2015, Garnet was the executive director of the Colorado Democratic Party. He previously worked as a legislative assistant to US Representative Ed Perlmutter and legislative director to US Representative John Adler. Alec is a strong advocate for gun safety reform and advocates for safer communities across Colorado. Alec cosponsored legislation to enact Colorado’s extreme risk protection law and believes that there is more work to be done. Alec has proven his ability to lead the gun violence prevention movement in the Colorado House and will continue to protect the communities he represents by fighting for gun safety legislation if reelected.
- Meg Froelich (House District 3) Meg Froelich is a member of the Colorado House, representing District Three. Meg won her first election in 2003, after which she served two terms on the Greenwood Village City Council. Prior to entering public office, Meg worked in the nonprofit sector as the executive director of the Colorado Institute for Leadership. Meg also served as director of the Colorado chapter of NARAL Pro-Choice America and executive director of the Colorado Democratic Party. Meg’s lifetime in public service has taught her how to fight for the people. If reelected to the Colorado House of Representatives, Meg Froelich will support commonsense gun safety measures.
- Steven Woodrow (House District 6) Steven Woodrow represents District Six in the Colorado House of Representatives. Before entering public office, Steven worked as a litigator where he tried and arbitrated a range of consumer protection and landlord tenant matters. Steven also served as an adjunct law professor at his alma mater, Chicago-Kent College of Law. In addition to maintaining his consumer practice, Steven has served as a co-capital of House District Six B for the Denver Democratic Party. Steven Woodrow has dedicated his life to advocating for others and will continue to do so by supporting commonsense gun safety legislation if reelected to the Colorado House.
- Leslie Herod (House District 8) Leslie Herod has represented District Eight in the Colorado House since 2017, when she became the first LGBTQ, African-American woman to serve in the state assembly. In addition to her work as a representative, Leslie co-founded New Era Colorado, an organization dedicated to engaging young people in politics. Compelled by her spirit of service, Leslie has sat on various boards and commissions, including the Judicial Performance Commission, Denver’s Cultural Affairs Commission, the Board of Directors for Urban Peak, and the Colorado Black Women For Political Action. Leslie is a gun safety advocate who has the courage to stand up to the gun lobby. This year she led the effort to pass an important bipartisan police reform bill. She will continue to prioritize the well-being of Colorado communities and champion measures that will keep Colorado families safe.
- Tony Exum (House District 17) Tony Exum represents District 17 in the Colorado House. First elected in 2012, Tony is a retired Battalion Fire Chief for Colorado Springs, a volunteer basketball coach, and a community advocate. Throughout his career in public service, Tony has continuously prioritized the safety of Coloradoans. As a legislator, Tony voted in favor of a bill implementing extreme risk protection order laws that temporarily prevent individuals in crisis from accessing firearms. Tony Exum will continue to fight for gun violence prevention measures to ensure the well-being of the communities he serves.
- Marc Snyder (House District 18) Marc Snyder serves in the Colorado House, representing District 18. Upon graduating with his JD from Emory University, Marc’s legal work focused on wills, trusts, estates law, and helping families with adults or children who have disabilities. Prior to his work in the Colorado General Assembly, Marc spent 12 years on the Manitou Springs City Council, six of those as mayor. Marc has supported gun safety reform throughout his time in public service. In 2019, he supported the establishment of extreme risk protection order laws in order to keep Coloradoans safe. Colorado House District 18 can trust Marc Synder to work to prevent senseless acts of gun violence and protect their communities.
- Mary Parker (House District 22) Mary Parker is running to represent House District 22 as a state representative. Before pursuing public office, Mary worked as a systems engineer for 20 years, in addition to owning a small business. Mary has also served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for neglected and abused children in Jefferson County for the past 13 years, and is also a member of the Giffords coalition Colorado Gun Owners for Safety.
- Chris Kennedy (House District 23) Chris Kennedy was first elected to represent House District 26 in 2016. Upon graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Chris worked as an engineer. However, Chris felt called to public service and began solving public policy problems under leaders including Max Tyler and Rep. Ed Perlmutter. Chris is a proven problem solver and is ready to tackle America’s gun violence epidemic. If reelected to the Colorado House, Chris Kennedy will fight for commonsense gun safety measures to protect all Coloradans.
- Monica Duran (House District 24) Monica Duran is a member of the Colorado House, representing District 24. Prior to entering public service, Monica worked in the dental industry for over three decades. In 2015, she led a campaign for Wheat Ridge Issue 300, a grassroots effort to push back against out-of-control development within her community. Monica then went on to serve on the Wheat Ridge City Council, the Wheat Ridge Fire Protection Board, the Jefferson Center for Mental Health, The West Metro Veteran Resource Network, and Heading Home, an organization committed to ending homlessness. As the daughter of a veteran, Monica understands the impacts of gun violence and is dedicated to preventing it. In 2020, Monica co-introduced a bill to enforce the safe storage of firearms. Coloradoans can rest assured that Monica Duran is ready to fight for their safety by advocating for gun violence prevention legislation if reelected to the Colorado House.
- Lindsey Daugherty (House District 29) Lindsey Daugherty is seeking to represent District 29 in the Colorado House. Born and raised in Colorado, Lindsey received her JD from University of Denver and works as an attorney specializing in juvenile and family law. During law school, Lindsey clerked for the White House under the Obama Administration and for Senator Tom Harkin. As a lawyer, Lindsey is acutely aware of the importance of maintaining one’s Second Amendment rights while preventing senseless acts of gun violence. If elected to the Colorado House, Lindsey will champion commonsense gun safety measures to protect her community.
- Yadira Caraveo (House District 31) Yadira Caraveo is a member of the Colorado House, representing District 31. Yadira is a practicing pediatrician and has previously worked with the Union of Concerned Scientists, focusing on the health effects of climate change. In addition to practicing medicine, Yadira serves on boards for the Early Childhood Partnership of Adams County and on the Colorado Behavioral Health Transformation Council. As a pediatrician, Yadira has unique insight into the realities of gun violence as a public health crisis. In the Colorado House, Yadira supported the establishment of extreme risk protection order laws, and plans to continue to support commonsense gun safety legislation.
- Kyle Mullica (House District 34) Kyle Mullica is a member of the Colorado House, representing District 34. Born and raised in Thornton, Kyle began his career as an emergency medical technician. Additionally, Kyle has served on the Young Professional Advisory Board for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Prior to being elected to the state house in 2018, Kyle served on the Northglenn City Council. As a health professional, Kyle understands that gun violence is a serious public health crisis and will advocate for lifesaving gun safety measures to protect all Coloradans.
- Tom Sullivan (House District 37) Tom Sullivan was elected to represent House District 37 in 2018. The son of two veterans, Tom carried on his parents’ tradition by joining the US Air Force in 1974, after which he continued his public service by working with the United State Postal Service. In the early morning hours of July 20, 2012, Tom’s son, Alex, was murdered at the Century Theater in Aurora while celebrating his 27th birthday. That life-changing night has led Tom down the path of advocating for victims and families and motivated him to run for public office. As a survivor, Tom believes that no Coloradoan should be subject to the tragedy and pain his family had to endure. Tom is committed to doing everything in his power to prevent senseless acts of gun violence. Tom co-sponsored the Extreme Risk Protection Order law that passed in 2019 and his courageous leadership helped pass this life saving measure. He continues to support gun safety laws and co-sponsored a safe storage bill earlier this year.
- David Ortiz (House District 38) David is the Democratic nominee seeking to represent District 38 in the Colorado House. After graduating from college, David joined the Army and was selected to train as a helicopter pilot. He flew the Kiowa Warrior helicopter in service to his country and narrowly survived a crash that left him paralyzed from the waist down. He began his activism as an advocate for veterans groups before deciding to run for office himself in 2020. David is dedicated to passing legislation that prevents gun violence and promotes responsible gun ownership. David is also a member of Giffords coalition Colorado Gun Owners for Safety.