DENVER – Colorado Senate President Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, announced Thursday he is resigning later this month to take a job at the Pentagon.
In a letter to the secretary of the Colorado Senate, Garcia said he accepted an appointment to be the Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs at the Department of Defense.
“It has been the honor of my life to represent my community and a privilege to serve as the first Latino Senate President,” Garcia said in a tweet. “I leave with immense gratitude and optimism for Colorado’s future.”
With the love and support of my family, I have accepted an appointment to the Pentagon. I’ll be stepping away from my Senate seat and my position as President effective 2/23/2022. It has been the honor of my life to represent my community - (1/2) #coleg pic.twitter.com/krWOavtF85— Leroy Garcia (@Leroy_Garcia) February 3, 2022
Garcia has been the senator from the state’s 3rd Senate District since 2015. He was minority leader in 2018 and 2019 before Democrats retook the majority in the Senate. He was named Senate President in 2019.
His resignation will be effective Feb. 23.
Garcia is in his final term in the Senate. He was elected to the state House in 2012. Garcia is a Pueblo native who served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2001 to 2007.
Senate Democrats will have to vote on who will replace Garcia as Senate president. A vacancy committee will choose someone to replace him in his seat for this year’s legislative session.
“I’m so proud of everything we’ve accomplished together, and I couldn’t be more excited to see my good friend from Pueblo continue his long career of service to our nation at the Pentagon,” said Majority Leader Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo. “Thank you President Garcia for your dedication to Colorado, and for everything you’ve done to support Pueblo and our Southern Colorado communities. I will miss the President’s leadership and ceaseless determination to fight for Pueblo, and I wish him the best as he continues serving our nation at the Pentagon.”
“President Garcia has served Colorado and our nation with distinction, and it has been a privilege to work alongside him to move Colorado forward,” said House Speaker Alec Garnett, D-Denver, in a statement. “We have so much to be proud of–from saving people money on health care and prescription drugs to expanding access to substance use treatment, Colorado is a better state because of what we’ve accomplished together.
In a statement, Gov. Jared Polis congratulated Garcia on his appointment.
“The state of Colorado is grateful for President Garcia’s unwavering commitment to delivering for Colorado and Pueblo. Under President Garcia’s leadership we have led trailblazing health care reforms to save Coloradans money, created a state park at Fishers Peak and we are poised to move forward in making front range rail a reality,” Polis said. “President Garcia’s experience as a paramedic and Marine Corps veteran will be a huge asset to President Biden’s administration.”
This is a developing news story and will be updated.