Colorado state Sen. Rachel Zenzinger has been named the 2019 Legislator of the Year by the Economic Development Council of Colorado, a statewide network of eco-devo professionals in both the public and private sector.
The council saluted the Arvada Democrat for her "outstanding work" in supporting economic development excellence. The award is given to a legislator who has "demonstrated leadership by building consensus across the political spectrum to successfully pass bills to strengthen Colorado’s economy, infrastructure and workforce," according to a statement from the council.
Zenzinger said she believes "it is critical that we analyze and ultimately support policies, regardless of party or politics, that help hardworking Coloradans and create a thriving environment for businesses. That has been my guiding principle since 2016, and I am proud to have not only adhered to it, but to be recognized for it.”
Zenzinger was elected to her Senate seat in 2016.
Zenzinger, a member of the Joint Budget Committee, was integral in writing and passing the 2019-20 balanced budget that funded state-paid all-day kindergarten and made a $300 million investment in transportation infrastructure.
She also was a force behind the final resolution of Senate Bill 18-001, which put $495 million into transportation, a long-fought and fraught battle in the 2018 session.
Economic Development Council board Chair Tammy Fields said they are "proud to honor Senator Zenzinger for this special recognition. Colorado is privileged to have legislators that demonstrate collaboration and strong leadership by advocating for important public policy which supports industry and economic development initiatives that strengthen Colorado’s economy.”
Zenzinger is up for re-election in 2020. Her seat flipped in recent elections between Democrats and Republicans. Zenzinger was first appointed to the Senate District 19 seat in 2013 in the wake of the recalls of two Democratic senators and the resignation of her predecessor, Democratic Sen. Evie Hudak. Zenzinger lost her first election bid in 2014 to Republican Sen. Laura Woods but beat Woods in 2016.
So far, no Republicans have filed to take on Zenzinger in 2020.