Colorado Senate President Leroy Garcia announced on Feb. 3 that he will resign as Senate president to accept a position at the Pentagon. Garcia’s resignation takes effect on Feb. 23.
“For nearly a decade, I have had the immense honor to represent the people of Pueblo at the Colorado State Capitol, and the privilege to serve as senate president since 2019,” Garcia said in a news release. “I am incredibly grateful that my community and my colleagues entrusted me with this responsibility, and I have been humbled by the opportunity to serve the state I love. While my time in the Senate is coming to a close, I am proud of all that we’ve accomplished together to move Colorado forward, and I am confident that whomever is selected to fill these vacancies will serve with the integrity and tenacity that Coloradans deserve.”
“The state of Colorado is grateful for President Garcia’s unwavering commitment to delivering for Colorado and Pueblo. Under President Garcia’s leadership, we have led trailblazing health care reforms to save Coloradans money, created a state park at Fischer’s Peak and we are poised to move forward in making front range rail a reality,” said Gov. Jared Polis in a statement. “President Garcia’s experience as a paramedic and Marine Corps veteran will be a huge asset to President Biden’s administration. On behalf of a grateful state, I congratulate him on his appointment.”
Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg said, “President Garcia’s appointment is a great loss for Colorado, but a huge gain for our country.”
“Since the day I decided to run for office, President Garcia has been a mentor for me, just like he’s been for many of my colleagues. I’ve learned so much from him over the years about public service, leadership, and responsibility. He’s taught me that no matter what’s going on in the world, a true public servant’s first responsibility is to care for our democratic institutions and the people we serve, and to ensure we’re passing it off to the next generation better than we found it. Simply put, the state of Colorado is better because of Leroy Garcia,” said Fenberg in the news release.
“President Garcia is a trailblazer and the consummate public servant, and has guided the Senate with grace and diligence through some of the biggest crises Colorado has ever seen,” said Senate Majority Caucus Chair Julie Gonzales in the Feb. 3 release. “I am incredibly proud to have had the opportunity to serve alongside and learn from Presidente, and I will miss his mentorship and his guidance. I know he will continue to make our state and our country proud as he serves at the Pentagon.”
A sixth-generation Southern Coloradan and a Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq in 2003, Garcia was first elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 2012 and the Colorado Senate in 2014.
After receiving the unanimous support of his Senate colleagues in 2019, Garcia became the first Latino senate president in Colorado history, according to the Feb. 3 news release.
Garcia will serve as the special assistant to the assistant secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs within the Department of Defense at the Pentagon.