Colorado Senate Democrats elected new leadership last week, elevating Sen. Robert Rodriguez to the role of Senate Majority Leader to replace Dominick Moreno, who resigned from the Senate to take a job with Denver Mayor Mike Johnston’s administration.
Rodriguez defeated Sen. Rachel Zenzinger for the role of Senate Majority Leader, which has apparently led to Zenzinger making some confounding accusations about the new Majority Leader and Senator Faith Winter, who was elected to serve as assistant majority leader. As The Colorado Sun reports today in its “Unaffiliated” newsletter:
Rodriguez was nominated for majority leader by Sen. Faith Winter, D-Westminster, who initially planned to run for the job. In turn, Rodriguez nominated Winter for assistant majority leader.
It sure looked like a deal had been reached between the two to make that happen. Sen. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, basically said as much during her remarks at Friday’s leadership election. And other members of the Senate Democratic caucus said the Rodriguez-Winter leadership team was the product of political maneuvering. [Pols emphasis]
Rodriguez, responding to a question from The Sun, denied that there was a deal in which Winter’s supporters agreed to back Rodriguez in exchange for Rodriguez backing Winter. But The Colorado Sun obtained a voicemail from Winter to Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, an Arvada Democrat who was also running for majority leader, in which Winter said she and Rodriguez were “aligning.”
“I didn’t want you to find out from other folks, but Robert and I are aligning,” Winter said in the voicemail. “We’re going to support him for majority leader. He’s going to support me for assistant majority leader.”
First off, we’re not sure why Rodriguez bothered to deny that he and Winter had a deal in place to support each other for leadership positions. Not only is there nothing wrong with this, but it happens all the time. People in every profession engage in some sort of “political maneuvering” in their jobs, but politicking happens to be particularly prevalent in, well, politics.
Zenzinger apparently has some sour grapes related to the Rodriguez/Winter alliance and not being elected Senate Majority Leader herself, but what did she expect would happen? Did she think Senate Democrats would show up at their caucus meeting on Friday completely unprepared for the election?
Normally you don’t rise to a top political position unless you are skilled at politics, and it seems that Rodriguez and Winter created a savvy alliance that worked to the advantage of both members. That’s how this works. That’s how this has always worked.