The Denver Post
Kurtis Lee

WESTMINSTER — A Democratic vacancy committee on Tuesday night appointed Arvada City Councilwoman Rachel Zenzinger to fill a state Senate seat vacated by former Sen. Evie Hudak.

The majority of the committee — which consists of about 70 party activists from within Senate District 19 — selected Zenzinger over former state Rep. Sara Gagliardi to fill the seat.

To keep the seat, Zenzinger must run for re-election next November.
The district is among the most competitive in the state as it is divided almost evenly among Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated voters. Hudak won re-election to her seat in 2012 by less than 600 votes.

Zenzinger is expected to be sworn in on Friday. She said she hopes to champion education initiatives when the legislative session convenes in January.

“I’m going to listen to my constituents, and I hear what they have to say … that’s what’s important. I’d love to champion some kind of education policy, and I just really want to make a difference,” Zenzinger said.

Hudak, who resigned so Democrats could keep their single-seat majority in the Senate, faced a recall election for her votes in support of tougher gun-control laws passed in the past legislative session.

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, which helped aid in the recall effort of Hudak, issued a statement Tuesday saying “any politician that dares infringe on our” Second Amendment rights “will be made an example of.”

Zenzinger said she is a supporter of the gun laws Democrats passed this year.