State Rep. Joel Judd has filed papers to run for Senate District 34 in 2010. The northwest Denver Democrat was just sworn in for his fourth term representing House District 5 and wants to take over for veteran state Sen. Paula Sandoval, who can’t run again due to term limits. Sandoval was elected twice without opposition in the heavily Democratic district, which is basically most of Denver west of Interstate 25.
Judd is the first General Assembly candidate to create a campaign committee for the next election, though he isn’t the first to announce his intention to run for a term-limited legislator’s seat. Last month, pollster Mark Mehringer, a Democrat, told the Colorado Independent he planned to run for term-limited House Speaker Terrance Carroll’s northeast Denver House District 7 seat.
Last week, Judd transferred $13,780 left over from his state House campaign to a newly formed state Senate committee, according to the Colorado secretary of state’s office. Judd won re-election in November with 80 percent of the vote against Republican J.J. Swiontek.
Judd, who describes himself as a “real progressive” on his campaign Web site, touts as legislative accomplishments his efforts to add sexual orientation to the hate crimes law and to make it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation in employment, housing or public accommodations. Judd has introduced legislation that required ignition interlock devices for convicted drunken drivers, among other penalties that would have made Colorado’s DUI laws the toughest in the nation.
CORRECTION: Judd indeed sponsored a bill that passed in the 2008 session allowing first-time DUI offenders to seek restricted licenses requiring an interlock device after their licenses have been revoked for one month, as he notes in a comment below. Judd’s original 2007 proposal, slammed by a Rocky Mountain News editorial as “Going overboard on DUIs,” would have revoked licenses of first-time DUI offenders for five years unless they installed interlock devices. A sentence in the post above that said Judd had “introduced but failed to pass” the harsher 2007 legislation has been corrected to more accurately reflect events.