Jack Tate

Sen. Jack Tate accepts an award from the South Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce last year. (Joey Bunch/Colorado Politics)

Two years ahead of the election, state Sen. Jack Tate, a Republican from Centennial, said he won't run again in 2020 for another term in the legislature.

“Coming from a long career in business, I never intended for this to be a replacement career," he said Thursday in a statement to Colorado Politics. "It was my belief four years ago, in a spirit of public service, that with my skill set there would bean opportunity for me to contribute to the well-being of Colorado."

Tate is a businessman with expertise in marketing and finance who was first elected to the state House in 2014. He was appointed to a vacant seat in the Senate in 2015 then won a full term in 2016, defeating Tom Sullivan by seven percentage points.

Sullivan won a seat in the House this month when he beat Republican incumbent Cole Wist of Centennial.

Tate said he first discussed with his family in the summer of 2017 whether this should be his last term "and go back to my career in order to better meet my personal financial obligations." He said he decided over the Thanksgiving holiday that six years in the statehouse would be enough.

"I am grateful for the trust placed in me by my community and have been honored to serve,” he stated.

Tate was one of several male legislators accused of sexual misconduct last session, as the #MeToo movement roiled the Colorado Capitol and the nation. He denied the allegations.

After an independent investigator said the intern who accused Tate was more credible, Senate Republican leadership, after consulting with lawyers, ruled that none of Tate's alleged actions, even if true, amounted to sexual harassment.

Meanwhile, in the last session Tate was a chief architect and negotiator to dig the state public employees' pension system, Colorado PERA, out of a $32 billion hole, which could have taken the state's credit rating down with the retirement plans of hundreds of thousands of workers and current retirees.

He talked Thursday about his proudest accomplishments.

"After working many important issues like the passage of construction litigation reform in 2017, the reform of our public pension system in 2018, and now engaged in the Gallagher Amendment problem, it will soon be time for another citizen legislator to represent the Centennial and Arapahoe County community in the state Senate," he said. "I'm proud of the work I've done in the General Assembly, fighting for what's best for all Coloradans."

That gives Tate two sessions to govern without thinking about re-election, as the Senate switches from a Republican to a Democratic majority. 

“I will continue to work hard for a business-friendly environment driven by economic freedom in Colorado over the final two sessions of my term," he said. 

His Senate District 27 includes Centennial,  parts of unincorporated Arapahoe County and the town of Foxfield.


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