Much at stake in State Senate contests

By John Aguilar


Heavily outspent by their Democratic rivals and seen by many as too conservative for politically balanced Jefferson County, Republicans Tony Sanchez and Laura Woods are undeterred in their quest to take over two critical state Senate seats in November.

Woods, who is running for Senate District 19 in Arvada and Westminster, said “only the left-wing insiders are complaining about my conservative/pro-liberty approach to government — the very same folks who are the reason our state government is so out of control.”

Sanchez, the GOP contender for Senate District 22 in southern Jefferson County, said the accusation that he is simply too far to the right for a district that is fairly evenly split among Democrats, Republicans and independents “is a distraction from the truth.” The real problem, Sanchez said, is overregulation and excessive taxation coming from legislation passed in the statehouse.

“The voters want me to clean up house. They want me to get government out of their lives,” said Sanchez, a political consultant. “All I want is people to have freedom to make their own choices in their lives.”

But Rachel Zenzinger, a former Democratic Arvada city councilwoman who was appointed to the SD 19 seat late last year, said voters in her district don’t want highly partisan politicians representing them. She said in her only session at the state Capitol, she worked hard to reach across the aisle to push forward multiple bills, like grants for adult education and literacy programs and expansion of the senior and disabled veteran property tax exemption.

“People are really tired of getting mired down in extreme politics and not getting any results,” Zenzinger said. “The best representative needs to be a moderate and not from the two extremes.”

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