101 women Hickenlooper could appoint as lieutenant governor

Last week The Colorado Independent reported that a group of Coloradans were asking Gov. John Hickenlooper to replace Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia with a woman appointee.

Jenny Willford, the Executive Director of Emerge Colorado, an organization working to get more women elected to office, wrote the governor today the  following letter suggesting 101 qualified women he could could appoint.


Dear Governor Hickenlooper,

Emerge Colorado recruits, trains and empowers women to run for office. Since launching in 2012, we have trained over 70 women from Delta County to Weld County. These women are teachers, members of the military, lawyers, activists and moms. To date, over half of our alumnae have run and this November alone, 9 out of 13 women on the ballot won- that’s nearly a 70% win rate. This means that we know how to identify qualified women and we know how to give them the skills and network they need to win.

From the ranches to elected office, Colorado has a proud tradition of electing women. As you know, not only were we the first parliamentary body in the world to elect women, but we were the first state to give women the right to vote and we are the number one state in the country for electing women to the state legislature.  While we excel at women’s representation in the state legislature, we have yet to elect a woman Governor or U.S. Senator. Furthermore, out of the 48 past lieutenant governors in Colorado history- only 4 have been women. We can and we must do better- starting with your next appointment.

Since Lieutenant Governor Garcia announced his resignation, we have been working publicly to recruit a woman to fill the vacancy. Too often women are left off the shortlist for political appointments. This is exactly why we have built a robust and diverse list of 101 women from across Colorado who are ready, able and qualified to lead. We recognize that our list does not include every qualified woman in the state; but we are confident that these women represent the broad range of talent we have in Colorado from scientists and Olympians to politicians and businesswomen.

We did not ask permission to include any woman in our list because we know that women have to be invited to run for office. To every woman on this list, please consider this your formal invitation to run for lieutenant governor or any other office in Colorado.

Governor Hickenlooper, it is time for you to send a message to the entire country that women’s leadership matters. That in Colorado, political parity is not just an option- it’s an expectation. It is time for you to be a trailblazer and enthusiastically advocate for a woman to become the next lieutenant governor.


Jenny Willford

Executive Director


101 Qualified Female Candidates for Lt. Governor of Colorado

Cristina Aguilar

Hon. Irene Aguilar

Katherine Archuleta

Christine Arguello

Hon. Polly Baca

Katina Banks

Patricia Barela Rivera

Hon. KC Becker

Christine Benero

Erin Bennett

Sue Birch

Hon. Betty Boyd

Barbara Brohl

Lauren Casteel

Juanita Chacon

Merle Chambers

Hon. Kathy Chandler-Henry

Rebecca Chopp

Leanna Clark

Vicki Cowart

Hon. Lesley Dahlkemper

Hon. Jessie Danielson

Hon. Kerry Donovan

Hon. Crisanta Duran

Hon. Daneya Esgar

Donna Evans

Hon. Rhonda Fields

Hon. Joan Fitz-Gerald

Maggie Fox

Lynn Gangone

Ellen Golombek

Julie Gonzales

Nita Gonzales

Lisa Goodbee

Courtney Gray

Dusti Gurule

Sandy Gutierrez

Hon. Millie Hamner

Josie Heath

Carol Hedges

Hon. Eva Henry

Melanie Herrera Bortz

Paula Herzmark

Tresi Houpt

Hon. Dickey Lee Hullinghorst

Wanda James

Hon. Elise Jones

Kim Jordan

Hon. Cary Kennedy

Hon. Robin Kniech

Frances Koncilja

Hon. Gwen Lachelt

Dottie Lamm

Hon. Claire Levy

Michelle Lucero

Hon. Alice Madden

Denise Maes

Hon. Betsy Markey

Lilly Marks

Hon. Rosemary Marshall

Hon. Crestina Martinez

Dayna Bowen Matthew

Hon. Jenise May

Hon. Beth McCann

Hon. Buffie McFadyen

Karin McGowan

Elena Mendoza

Hon. Karen Middleton

Nita Mosby Henry

Karen Nakandakare

Suma Nallapati

Hon. Linda Newell

Kelly Nordini

Hon. Barbara O’Brien

Blanca O’Leary

Hon. Debbie Ortega

Theresa Pena

Hon. Brittany Pettersen

Monica Piergrossi

Susan Powers

Hon. Diane Primavera

Hon. Rachel Richards

Hon. Rosemary Rodriguez

Hon. Su Ryden

Marguerite Salazar

Kristen Schaal

Hon. Gail Schoettler

Tea Schook

Hon. Pat Schroeder

Tisha Schuller

Hon. Gail Schwartz

Hon. Linda Shoemaker

Martha Tierney

Lindsey Vonn

Hon. Wilma Webb

Hon. Elbra Wedgeworth

Roxane White

Kathy White

Hon. Angela Williams

Hon. Faith Winter

* Names are listed in alphabetical order.

** Inclusion on this list does not consititue an endorsement.**


Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 11.53.40 AM

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 11.53.49 AM

Photo credit: Mike Johnston, Creative Commons, Flickr.