Colorado Senate Democrats on Wednesday selected Sen. Steve Fenberg to be the chamber’s next president, a position in which the Boulder lawmaker will help steer the direction of the entire legislature.
Fenberg had been serving as the Senate majority leader, the No. 2 position in the chamber. He was elected president by acclamation of his 20-member caucus, and was the only candidate nominated.
Fenberg’s selection still must be approved by the full Senate, meaning Republicans will get a chance to weigh in on whether he should be president, though they don’t have the votes to stop it. He is poised to replace outgoing President Leroy Garcia, a Pueblo Democrat who is resigning later this month to take a job at the Pentagon.
“I wanted to be the next president because I want to do everything I can to help harness the power of this caucus and the presidency to create a better Colorado,” Fenberg said in a speech accepting the nomination.
Garcia decided not to endorse a successor — publicly or privately — instead opting to let “the caucus decide for itself” who should be the next president, said Andy Bixler, a spokesman for Garcia.
Sen. Kerry Donovan, a Vail Democrat who was seen as a potential contender for the position, was absent from the caucus meeting Wednesday due to a death in her family.
Sen. Dominick Moreno, a Commerce City Democrat who sits on the legislature’s powerful Joint Budget Committee, was selected as the chamber’s new majority leader.
The Senate Democratic caucus chose Sen. Rachel Zenzinger to replace Moreno on the Joint Budget Committee. Zenzinger, an Arvada Democrat, previously served on the JBC, but was replaced by Sen. Chris Hansen of Denver in 2020.
Garcia will continue to serve in his position until Feb. 23, meaning the leadership changes will take effect on Feb. 24.
This is a developing story that will be updated.