VRLA WOMEN TO WATCH 2024

Colorado, meet your candidates

Colorado’s primary election day is Tuesday, June 25, and early voting is already in progress.

These candidates are running to bring new perspectives and real progressive change to communities throughout the state, so find your district and see who’s running.

State Senate Candidates

Vivian Smotherman

Senate District 6

As a sailor, a farmer, a teacher, an oil field worker, and a nonprofit organizer and volunteer, Smotherman has cultivated an ability to bring divergent visions together to meet the needs of the group — rather than just that of one faction or person. Smotherman’s legislative priorities are access to health care, education, agriculture, Indigenous rights, and affordable housing.

Sonya Jaquez Lewis

Senate District 17

Sen. Lewis has been a champion for progressive values in her district. She is a licensed health care worker and lifelong LGBTQ+ activist, currently serving in the Colorado State Senate. In addition to her career in health care, she has served in numerous nonprofit leadership positions, including as president of Out Boulder and as a member of the Boulder County Board of Health for seven years.

Lindsey Daugherty

Senate District 19

Rep. Daugherty is currently representing District 24. She is an attorney specializing in juvenile and family law, working to ensure that when children are removed from parental care due to neglect and abuse, they are heard, seen, and have input into their safety and future. Her platform focuses on education, jobs, housing, health care, seniors’ and veterans’ concerns, gun violence prevention, and mental health.

Dafna Michaelson Jenet

Senate District 21

Sen. Jenet, while she served in the House, worked on a variety of issues including mental health resources for youth and adults, lowering health care costs, women’s rights, gun violence prevention, and unions and labor rights. One of her favorite accomplishments is creating the “I Matter” Program, which has given more than 8,500 kids access to counseling since its implementation.

State Representative Candidates

Cecelia Espenoza

House District 4

Espenoza was the first tenure-track Latina to teach law in Colorado at the University of Denver, and the first Mexican American to become an appellate judge on the highest immigration court in the country. She is the former chair of the National Hispana Leadership Institute. Espenoza’s platform includes a focus on affordable housing, education, access to health care, and economic development.

Junie Joseph

House District 10

Rep. Joseph, as a lawyer and a minority small business owner, has used her tenacity and problem-solving skills to support evidence-based, humane solutions to challenges including disparities in our criminal justice system, homelessness, and climate justice. Her life experience of being born in Haiti and immigrating to the United States has informed her fight for social and human rights issues.

Tina Mueh

House District 10

During Mueh’s 30-year career as a public school educator, she has seen what underfunding means to kids and families in Colorado. As president of the Boulder Valley Education Association (BVEA), she represented her colleagues locally and in statewide discussions about public education. She’s worked to advocate for education funding and good policy because she knows the future really does depend on it.

Julie McCluskie

House District 13

Speaker McCluskie has served as a state representative since 2018, first in the 61st district and in District 13 since 2023. Speaker McCluskie has led legislative efforts on student success and workforce revitalization, which invested more than $90 million in businesses, labor, and higher education organizations. She is also a champion for education and has sponsored numerous related bills.

Stephanie Vigil

House District 16

Rep. Vigil is a community organizer and has been an essential worker for most of their life. In their time in office, legislative priorities have included working on public education, housing, renters’ rights, and transportation. As of the 2023 legislative session, Vigil is a member of the Energy & Environment and Transportation, Housing & Local Government committees.

Jennifer Parenti

House District 19

An Air Force Academy graduate and veteran, Rep. Parenti worked in internal affairs with the Air Force. She is also a former engineer, diplomat, community organizer, and voting rights activist. She is an advocate for parents and women. Her legislative focus has been on affordable housing, health care, veterans’ issues, infrastructure, the environment, and the protection of LGBTQIA people.

Liz Rosenbaum

House District 21

Rosenbaum, a military wife and mother, is the founder of the Fountain Valley Clean Water Coalition and an outspoken critic of PFAS chemicals found in local drinking water supplies. She believes in an open, transparent, and responsive government, and is committed to innovating long-term solutions to correct today’s problems and set future generations up for success.

Monica Duran

House District 23

Since her election to the House in 2018, Rep. Duran has been a champion on issues including supporting working families, protecting survivors of domestic violence, animal welfare, and commonsense gun laws. Her work in the community also includes serving as a board member of the Jefferson Center for Mental Health and the Wheat Ridge Planning Commission.

Lisa Feret

House District 24

Feret has spent her life serving others, through military service, social work, and emergency response. She works for the state of Colorado, focusing on Medicaid policy and long-term housing. Feret believes that everyone has a role in the betterment of the collective community, and for her, that role is in creating logical and effective policy.

Meghan Lukens

House District 26

Rep. Lukens is a native of Colorado who, after spending time abroad teaching, returned to her hometown to be a high school government and civics teacher. Lukens serves on the Education Committee, the Agriculture, Natural Resources & Water Committee, and the Legislative Council. Her legislative priorities are the economy, environment, affordable housing, health care, and agriculture.

Brianna Titone

House District 27

Rep. Titone serves as Chair of the Legislative LGBTQ+ Caucus, Chair of the Joint Technology Committee, and as a member of the Energy & Environment, Health & Insurance and Agriculture, Livestock and Water Committees. She has a lifelong commitment to her community and as a geological consultant, she learned firsthand how to work together with people to build better communities.

Kyra deGruy Kennedy

House District 30

Kennedy started her career working as a care manager for diabetic patients, giving her a first-hand view into the barriers in the health delivery system. She has led and supported the passage of many progressive and innovative policies at the state level. Kennedy is a longtime advocate dedicated to lifting up young adults furthest from power and privilege to lead in their communities.

Rebekah Stewart

House District 30

Stewart has dedicated her life to fighting for people who continually fall through the cracks, both as a health care advocate and now as a Lakewood City Councilor. She has worked to create opportunities for folks to get ahead and thrive, support workers and small businesses, increase investment in green transportation infrastructure, and access more affordable housing.

Jenny Willford

House District 34

Rep. Willford is a mother of two, small business owner, former union member and dedicated public servant who has spent her career standing up for working families and fighting for clean air and water. She is committed to fighting for everyone, pushing for affordable and accessible child care, advocating for students and teachers, and defending our environment.

Lesley Smith

House District 49

Smith worked for 30 years as a scientist and educator at CU, served on Boulder Valley School Board for eight years, was the first woman aquanaut in the underwater Aquarius research facility, and currently serves as CU Regent at-Large. Smith’s focus is on climate, environment, education, and affordability.

Mary Young

House District 50

Rep. Young is an incumbent who has served two consecutive terms. During her time in office, she has been a vocal champion for strengthening the state’s behavioral health system, creating inclusive learning environments, supporting older Coloradans, and reducing costs for Colorado families. She is the vice chair of the Health & Human Services Committee and a member of the Education Committee.

Yara Zokaie

House District 52

Zokaie is a first-generation Iranian American who knows the value of hard work and the importance of community. Currently serving as the Chief Deputy Assessor for Larimer County, she stands against the current use of money and corporate lobbying in politics. She continues to be an unwavering ally to the LGBTQIA community, the working class, young families, and people of color.

Ethnie Treick

House District 52

Treick is a dedicated community volunteer and advocate, and she’s passionate about helping make a positive impact on others. She has represented Xcel Energy at the Colorado Capitol for six legislative sessions, advocating for sustainable, clean energy policies to promote environmental justice — including the Renewable Energy Standard, Clean Air Clean Jobs Act, and Community Solar Gardens.

Katie Stewart

House District 59

Stewart is a fourth-generation Durangoan, with a background working for nonprofits and in political organizing, whose life and values are rooted in southwest Colorado. She has spent her career delivering services to her beloved community and brings a sincere understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities in District 59.

Federal Candidates

Yadira Caraveo

Colorado's 8th Congressional District

Brittany Pettersen

Colorado's 7th Congressional District

Local Candidates

Krista Holtzmann

Colorado State Board of Education — District 4

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