Political challenges face three lawmakers

By Vic Vela

As the legislative session chugs along, three freshman lawmakers are trying to balance voting their personal ideology with that of the constituents who reside in their complicated districts.

And if that isn’t hard enough, a couple of them are still trying to figure out where the stairwells and exits and other important places are located inside the Capitol.
“The hardest thing for me was finding the bathroom,” said Sen. Bernie Herpin, R-Colorado Springs. “At my age, that’s important.”

Herpin and senate colleagues George Rivera, R-Pueblo, and Rachel Zenzinger, D-Arvada, may not always agree on politics. But they share a common bond that is best summed up by the Grateful Dead’s “St. Stephen” — “One man gathers what another man spills.”

The three gained their seats as a result of recall efforts that sent their predecessors packing.

Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs and Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo lost to Herpin and Rivera in September recall elections that were spurred by the Democrats’ votes on gun legislation that became law last year.

Zenzinger took over the seat that was held by fellow Democrat Evie Hudak, who resigned in November in the face of a recall effort.

The three didn’t think they’d have their own nameplates inside the Senate’s chambers, at least so soon. But, here they are. And now that they’re here, they say they are trying to strike the right legislative balance while also trying to keep up with the sometimes complex and often maddening scene inside the Capitol.

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