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Following Hudak Resignation, Zenzinger Sworn Into Office

Bente Birkeland
Lawmakers watch Senator Rachel Zenzinger (D- Arvada) take the oath of office. She replaces Evie Hudak (D-Westminster) who resigned to avoid a potential recall election.

Sworn into office Friday, Rachel Zenzinger (D-Arvada) is the newest state senator. She replaces Evie Hudak who resigned rather than face a potential recall election over supporting stricter gun laws.

Zensinger is the third new member sworn into the Senate. Two Democrats have already been recalled and replaced with Republicans. Zenzinger says she wants to focus on economic development and education – adding that her background will allow her to work across the aisle.

“I was elected by a primarily Republican city council to be their mayor pro-tem, so I think I bring a collaborative spirit,” said Zenzinger.

A handful of Republicans attended the swearing in ceremony along with about a dozen Democrats. A few Democrats said the moment was bittersweet.

“While the circumstances that brought us here were disappointing, I am proud of the way our Senate Democratic team has pulled together.  We are stronger than ever, and ready to welcome Sen. Zenzinger and build a stronger Colorado,” said Pres.-Elect Morgan Carroll (D-Aurora). 

Minority leader Bill Cadman (R-Colorado Springs) thanked Hudak for her service and urged Zenzinger to build relationships with Republicans.

“Your path to this chamber is certainly unique and you now have an opportunity to leave your unique distinctive imprint on the governance of Colorado,” said Cadman.

A letter from Hudak was read saying she’s proud of what she accomplished last year and proud of the gun control legislation.

Read More: Following A Turbulent Year, Colorado Lawmakers Unsure What 2014 Holds

Bente Birkeland has been reporting on state legislative issues for KUNC and Rocky Mountain Community Radio since 2006. Originally, from Minnesota, Bente likes to hike and ski in her spare time. She keeps track of state politics throughout the year but is especially busy during the annual legislative session from January through early May.
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