Janet Buckner

Speaker pro tem Janet Buckner of Aurora, who announced on Sept. 9 that she is running for Senate District 28 in 2020. 

Aurora Democrat Janet Buckner, speaker pro tempore of the Colorado House, announced Monday that she plans to run for the Aurora state seat held by Sen. Nancy Todd, her fellow Aurora Democrat.

Todd is term-limited in 2020.

Buckner has served in the General Assembly for House District 40 since 2015. She initially was appointed to the seat after the death of her husband, Rep. John Buckner. She won the seat in 2016 and 2018, both times by double-digit margins, and in 2018 was named speaker pro tem. 

"This is the path I have chosen, and it is a life of purpose and helping others," she told Colorado Politics on Monday. "My appeal to those who need help is because I truly listen and collaborate."

She plans an official campaign kickoff in October.

Todd has served 15 years in the legislature: eight years in the House and seven in the Senate. By the end of her term, she will have joined an increasingly small club of lawmakers who have served the maximum time allowed under term limits (four terms in the House, two in the Senate). 

A statement from Buckner says she has been endorsed by Todd and by former state Sen. Suzanne Williams, who preceded Todd. Buckner, a retired sales executive, has carried bills primarily on health care and education, including a bill in 2018 to allow community colleges to offer four-year nursing degrees, which became law without the signature of Gov. John Hickenlooper. She also co-sponsored the 2019 Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, signed into law by Gov. Jared Polis in May.

“I’m dedicated to my constituents, and I think we’ve done a lot of great work for Coloradans over the last few legislative sessions," she said in a statement. "In order to build on our momentum, Sen. Todd’s seat must be filled by someone who has a proven record of passing meaningful legislation. I believe I am that person.”

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