State Rep. Chris deGruy Kennedy has been appointed to serve as speaker pro tempore for the Colorado House of Representatives during the upcoming legislative session.
Incoming House Speaker Julie McCluskie picked deGruy Kennedy, D-Lakewood, and announced the appointment on Monday.
“deGruy Kennedy’s institutional knowledge, proven leadership and dedication to making Colorado a better place for everyone are exactly why he will make an excellent speaker pro tempore,” McCluskie said. “deGruy Kennedy has stepped up to fight for Coloradans, their families and the caucus values we all share. Chris will make a wonderful addition to our new leadership team and I could not be happier to have him take on this important role.”
As speaker pro tempore, deGruy Kennedy will preside over the House when the speaker is absent. Speaker pro tempore is one of the only leadership positions appointed by the speaker instead of being elected by the majority caucus.
deGruy Kennedy has served in the House since 2017, being reelected for his fourth and final term in November.
deGruy Kennedy ran for House speaker in November, losing out to McCluskie, D-Dillon, after being eliminated in the first of two rounds of voting. deGruy Kennedy has been angling for party leadership for years, serving as assistant majority leader during the 72nd General Assembly and losing the role of majority leader to Rep. Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo, in 2020.
deGruy Kennedy is the outgoing chair of the State, Civic, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee. During the upcoming session, he will serve as vice chair of the Health and Insurance Committee and as a member of the Finance Committee.
“I am humbled and excited to take on the role of speaker pro tempore,” deGruy Kennedy said. “Throughout my years at the Capitol, I have taken on a variety of roles and responsibilities and I’m incredibly proud of everything we’ve achieved together for the people of Colorado. In this new role, I will have the honor of joining the most diverse leadership team in House history to help guide and support the work that lies ahead as we take on the state’s most significant challenges.”
The state’s 74th General Assembly is scheduled to convene on Jan. 9.