(Promoted by Colorado Pols)
Representative Leroy Garcia, currently a representative in District 46 of Pueblo County, has announced that he will run for election to Senate District 3 in 2014. Senator Angela Giron was recalled from that office September 10, 2013, and has let her close associates know that she is not running for the SD3 seat in 2014.
Representative Garcia's voting record is mostly very progressive: for in state tuition for undocumented immigrants, for driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants, for civil unions, for sales taxes and regulating the marijuana industry, and many other key bills. There isn't much daylight between Garcia and Giron on any of the above issues. Then we get to the gun laws, and Garcia looks much closer to the current occupant of the SD3 seat, George Rivera. Rivera has vowed that repealing all of the gun legislation will be a top priority for him in 2014.
Garcia voted for background checks, (HB1229) but against the buyer having to pay for the check. (HB1228) He also voted against limiting magazine capacity (HB1224), and against prohibiting concealed carry on campuses (HB1226). He voted yes on SB197, prohibiting domestic violence offenders from having guns, and for various other bills limiting access to firearms.
His voting record will undoubtedly endear Garcia to the vocal "gun rights" proponents in Pueblo, while possibly alienating him from some of the more vocal gun control advocates. My own take on it is that Garcia is a veteran and a hunter – I've never met a veteran who didn't cherish his guns. So I'm prepared to allow Garcia his personal convictions about the gun laws.
Many Pueblo Dems, however, have not forgiven Garcia for not publicly supporting Angela Giron in the recall elections. This debate in all its unkempt glory was on the Pueblo Dems forum on Facebook. The moderator chose to make this a closed forum, now called Democrat Chat, and you will have to email him if you wish to join the forum.
I am personally prepared to support Leroy Garcia for Senate District 3. He is certainly much better than George Rivera on a multitude of issues I care about. I want to know if Representative Garcia, or a future Senator Garcia, will vote to repeal gun legislation. There will be intense pressure to do so as soon as the 2014 legislative session opens. I will update this blog as soon as I hear from Representative Garcia on this issue.
Garcia is undoubtedly a very savvy politician, adept at walking a fine line in a very volatile race. Those skills will be put to the test as he runs for election to Senate District 3. At some point, he will need to take a stand.