By Peter Marcus, DENVER DAILY NEWS
State Sen. Paula Sandoval took the City Council special election last night to fill the District 1 vacancy left by former Councilman Rick Garcia.
Sandoval, a Democrat who has represented northwest Denver for the past eight years at the State House, says her first priority is going to be dealing with the city’s new zoning code update.
But with the city facing an $80 million shortfall going into the next budget cycle, Sandoval also acknowledges that she will have her work cut out for her.
“Maintaining core city services in light of the budget issues is going to be challenging,” she told the Denver Daily News following her victory.
Sandoval, the wife of well-known former State Sen. Paul Sandoval, won the election last night with 23 percent of the vote, as of the last count by city elections officials last night at 9:18 p.m. Susan Shepherd, a former union political organizer, came in second with 17 percent of the vote, as of the last count last night. State Rep. Jerry Frangas, a Democrat, came in third with 15 percent of the vote.
Sandoval fills the seat left by Garcia as a result of his appointment by the Obama Administration to act as the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s new regional director. He was sworn in in March.
Sandoval says many issues face northwest Denver, including redevelopments and repairs along Colfax Avenue and Federal Boulevard within her district, as well as the relocation of St. Anthony Central Hospital to Lakewood. The vacant lot will be a large piece of land up for development.
Sandoval, who for the past 25 years has co-owned Tamales by La Casita, Inc. along with her husband, said she understands there will be a transition from the State House to city issues, but she says she is up to the task.
“I’m very excited and honored to have been elected the next City Councilperson for District 1,” she said following her victory. “I know I have a lot of work ahead of me transitioning from the Senate to the Council, but I’m up to the task.”