Democrats in Louisville-based House District 12 choose Kyle Brown to replace Tracey Bernett
Colorado's spot as second in the nation to have a majority-women legislature ended just three weeks into the 2023 session, when a Democratic House District 12 vacancy committee Saturday selected Kyle Brown of Louisville to replace Rep. Tracey Bernett, D-Louisville.
Brown won on the first ballot.
The district, which is based in Boulder County, includes the communities of Lafayette, Louisville, Niwot and Superior.
Over the past two weeks, eight people indicated an interest in running for the seat. That number dropped down to five for Saturday's election.
- Cynthia Martinez of Lafayette, who formerly served as a legislative aide to Rep. Adrienne Benavidez, D-Adams County, and who initially showed interest in the HD12 seat in 2020.
- Former U.S. Rep. David Skaggs, who served in the Colorado House from 1981 to 1987, including as House Minority Leader from 1983 to 1985. He then was elected to the 2nd Congressional District, where he served six terms, stepping down in 1999.
- Brown, a member of the Louisville City Council, who has worked for U.S. senators and two governors, and is deputy commissioner for affordability programs at the Colorado Division of Insurance and part of the team that developed the Colorado Option.
- Jennifer Kaaoush, a co-director of Superior Rising, a nonprofit formed to support residents in their recovery from the Marshall Fire. She is also a member of the Town of Superior Board of Trustees, an army veteran and former diplomat in the Middle East.
- Alfredo Alvarado of Lafayette.
Brown won with 41 votes; Skaggs received 7 votes; Kaaoush got 2 votes; Martinez got 1; and, Alvarado did not receive any.
Of the vacancy committee's 53 members, 50 attended the election. Most are precinct committee people.
Bernett, who resigned the day before the start of the 2023 legislative session, faces three felony charges and two misdemeanor counts related to residency fraud after an investigation by the Boulder County District Attorney alleged she didn't live in the apartment she rented to maintain her residency in House District 12.
The 2021 redistricting map had moved her home into House District 19.
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