It’s Official: Cerbo Voted AFL/CIO Chief

Mike Cerbo left the legislature three weeks ago, fully expecting to be named Executive Director of the Colorado AFL/CIO. This weekend the Advisory Council of the federation of unions made it official.

The vote for Cerbo, a Democrat who represented District 2 in west-central Denver for five years, was unanimous.

“We’re pleased to have Mike on board. He comes to us with great credentials and a deep conviction to fight for Colorado’s working families,” said Keith Maddox, Trustee of the Colorado AFL-CIO, in a prepared statement.

In a Sept. 10 interview with Colorado Confidential, Cerbo said the decision to give up his seat was a tough one. He would have preferred the AFL/CIO job would have opened up three years from now, when he would have been term limited from running for reelection. But, he said, “there’s too much work to be done with the AFL/CIO and something was going to have to give.”

“I’ve got a lot of ideas and want to talk to people,” he said. “I need to make the rounds to all the union affiliates – there are 70 to 100 of them. Denver’s got its largest convention ever coming to town next year (the Democratic National Convention). We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Meanwhile, the District 2 vacancy committee has selected Mark Ferrandino to replace Cerbo. Ferrandino, 30, is the state Democratic Party treasurer and a budget analyst employed by the state. He has said he will resign from both positions when he becomes a lawmaker. Ferrandino, who is gay, is also on the board of directors for the National Stonewall Democrats, a grassroots organization of GLBT Democratic activists.

Click here to read Cerbo’s exit interview as a legislator.

Cara DeGette is a senior fellow at Colorado Confidential and a columnist and contributing editor at the Colorado Springs Independent. E-mail her at