CACI endorses Sen. Zenzinger, 48 others


The Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry has endorsed a slate of 49 incumbent and new legislative candidates for election to the Colorado General Assembly, of which 27 are incumbents and 22 are new candidates. Of the 49 total endorsements, 11 are Democrats and 38 are Republicans. The full slate of endorsements can be found on CACI’sfull page ad on the website of The Colorado Statesman.

“CACI’s endorsement process has produced a bipartisan slate of very pro-business candidates, both incumbent and new, that the statewide business community now can work to elect to the Colorado General Assembly for the 2015 and 2016 session,” said Loren Furman, CACI Senior Vice President, State and Federal Relations.

“The defining issues that separated those who were endorsed from those who were not included their positions on business tax exemptions and credits; the mining industry, especially coal; and local control vs. oil-and-gas production, particulary fracking,” Loren said.

However, the organization — which includes about 40 local chambers of commerce, about 30 trade associations and several local economic development organizations — did not endorse a candidate in Jefferson County’s Senate District 22, currently represented by Sen. Andy Kerr, a Democrat. Kerr represented a Lakewood House seat for three terms after being appointed to the seat because of a vacancy and was then elected in 2012 to the new SD 22 seat following reapportionment in 2011.

The Republican challenger is Tony Sanchez, who defeated more moderate Mario Nicolais in the June 24 Republican primary. Sanchez was endorsed by the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners.

SD 22, which includes Lakewood, is nearly equally comprised of Democrats and Republicans. As of June, there were 27,835 registered Democrats, 27,494 registered Republicans, and 31,000 unaffiliated voters. It is considered a key seat in this year’s election, and if it changes from Democrat to Republican, could help the GOP capture control of the state senate, which is currently held by Democrats by just one seat.

In SD 19, CACI has endorsed incumbent Democratic Sen. Rachel Zenzinger over Tea Party endorsed Republican Laura Woods, a former court reporter. Woods defeated fellow Republican Lang Sias, a FedEx pilot, Colorado Air National Guard lieutenant colonel and combat naval aviator, in the June primary. Sias ran in 2012 for the SD 19 seat and was endorsed by CACI for the general election. He narrowly lost the race by 584 votes to Democrat Evie Hudak, a difference of 0.8 percent of the total 70,744 votes cast for the two candidates. Hudak resigned in late November in the face of a gun-rights recall effort spearheaded by the controversial gun-rights organization, RMGO.

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