AURORA | Senate District 26, which covers parts of Aurora, Greenwood Village, Cherry Hills Village and Littleton, has a newly appointed elected official.
Former Rep. Jeff Bridges, who was elected to represent House District 3 in 2016, will fill the seat vacated by now-former Sen. Daniel Kagan. Bridges was appointed by a vacancy committee over the weekend. Now a new vacancy committee will be tasked with filling his House seat.
Bridges won his district with 61 percent of the vote this year. He’s a Colorado native who attended Littleton Public Schools growing up. Bridges received a Master’s of Divinity degree from Harvard, which he says on his website prepared him to be a leader in Colorado.
“My time there helped me further develop the ability to bring diverse groups of people together around shared values — whatever the source of those values,” he writes.
Yesterday, 119 PCPs came together and voted to send me to the Colorado Senate with 70% of the vote on the first ballot. THANK YOU! I look forward to continuing to represent nearly all of the folks who voted for me in 2018, and fight for them even more effectively from the Senate. pic.twitter.com/NJjsdzNiqi
— Rep. Jeff Bridges (@JeffBridges) January 6, 2019
State Democratic party leader Morgan Carroll congratulated Bridges in a statement Saturday.
“He’s been an excellent representative of his district for the past two years, and I know he will continue his track record of excellent service to the people of Senate District 26,” she said. “I also want to thank Daniel Kagan for his decade of serving the people of Colorado. The people of Colorado will miss his thoughtful and analytic approach in the General Assembly, and his command of the issues and the law will be sorely missed in the lawmaking process.”
Bridges won with 70 percent of the vacancy committee vote. Angela Engle, Iman Jodeh and Kyle Schlachter also vied for the seat.
It’s still unclear why Kagan stepped down from his seat — he didn’t cite a reason in a statement to press last month when he made the announcement. He was embroiled in controversy last legislative session, as he was accused of using a women’s bathroom multiple times.
A third-party report found it was more likely than not that those accusations were true.
Kagan said in a statement to press in early December that
“It’s been a great honor to serve the people of Colorado for just short of a decade. An important obligation of leaders, I believe, is to be open to acknowledging that it’s time to pass the torch to new leadership and, for me, that time is now,” Kagan said. “I am comfortable with my decision, largely because I know that we have no shortage of individuals in Arapahoe County who would do a superb job of representing the people of Senate District 26.”
Arapahoe County Democrats set a vacancy committee for HD3 for Monday at 7 p.m. in Englewood.
— KARA MASON, Staff Writer