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December 22, 2013 09:02 PM UTC

Former Colorado Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon Dies

  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE 12/26: The Denver Post's Joey Bunch reports on memorial arrangements:

His funeral will be Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at the Davidson/Hermelin Chapel at Clover Hill Park Cemetery in Birmingham, Mich.,a Detroit suburb, where other members of Gordon's family are buried.

The memorial service in Denver will be Tuesday, Jan. 7 at 11a.m. at Temple Emmanuel, 51 Grape St.

His family asked that, instead of flowers, donations be made to the organization Ken Gordon founded,


Former Colorado Sen. Ken Gordon (D).
Former Colorado Sen. Ken Gordon (D).
UPDATE #2: Statement from Colorado Democratic Party chairman Rick Palacio:

"Colorado lost a great public servant today with the passing of former State Senator Ken Gordon. A champion for good government, Ken worked hard to ensure our democratic process was one of transparency and accountability.

"Whether it was during his tenure in the Colorado Public Defender's Office or in the Colorado State Legislature, Ken has left a legacy of fighting for those that cannot fight for themselves. Our thoughts are with Ken's loved ones and family, including his children, his grandchildren, and Betty, his partner of many years." 


​UPDATE: Lynn Bartels and Joey Bunch of the Denver Post:

Former Gov. Bill Owens, a Republican, said Sunday night that Gordon rose above partisan politics.

"Ken was a good friend and an outstanding lawmaker," Owens said. "Ken was willing to set aside partisanship to do what was best for Colorado."


Word just now arriving via Twitter; we'll update shortly with coverage. More sad news this holiday weekend:


12 thoughts on “Former Colorado Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon Dies

  1. Senator Gordon will be greatly missed by those who knew him and those who care about progress in Colorado.  He was a champion of Closing the Gun Show Loophole and other gun violence prevention measures.   

    Most disappointing was his losing the Secretary of State race.  There is perhaps no one in Colorado who was more devoted to every single citizen being able to vote and then actually voting.

    The tears still come.  Farewell beloved senator, few can follow in your footsteps.

  2. I haven't seen Ken in a few years. So sorry to hear of his passing.

    Though he was a good man and legislator, mostly, I remember his sense of humor. He was a very funny guy. We have lost another great Coloradoan.

    1. Same here. What an out of the blue shock. Sincerest condolences to his family and loved ones. I know from experience that such a loss is bad enough under any circumstances but the sudden loss of a loved one apparently in good health and at a relatively young age is as confusing and even surreal as it is sad. It's very, very tough for a long time.  Spending a lot of time being and talking with others who knew him well, loved him and mourn him and have remembrances to share is my best recommendation for finding a degree of comfort.

      What a crappy weekend before Christmas in Colorado.

  3. I saw Ken a few months back when he attended one of our Progressive Women of Colorado events with Andrew Romanoff. Ken has been very passionate about the Romanoff for Congress campaign, since it is the testing ground for his favorite project — getting corporate influence out of politics. Ken's one true love in life — next to his children and partner Betty Lehman — is the belief that elections can be won through individual contributions rather than corporate dollars. 

    The best way to honor Ken is to donate to the Romanoff Campaign. That campaign was his baby, and meant the world to him.

  4. Very sad news. I walked with Sen. Gordon on the first day of the Colorado Walk and found him to be a very dedicated, thoughtful individual and a champion for the people of the state. I was very disappointed when he lost the Secretary of State race, as I felt he had a great vision for truly open and representative voting; the places he could have taken this state…

    Rest in Peace.

  5. He was a good man, and honestman, a decent man.  He had a good sense of humor.   I shared many hours with him and always came out richer for it.

    You will be deeply missed, old and good friend.

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