Dafna Michaelson Jenet picked to replace Dominick Moreno in Colorado Senate

By: - September 1, 2023 10:35 am

State Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet, a Democrat from Commerce City and chair of the House Public and Behavioral Health and Human Services Committee. (Courtesy of Colorado House Democrats)

State Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet will replace Majority Leader Dominick Moreno in the Colorado Senate, a vacancy committee made of Democratic voters decided Thursday.

Moreno is stepping down from his seat to work as Denver Mayor Mike Johnston’s deputy chief of staff for strategy. He first started in the state Legislature in 2013 as a representative and was elected to the Senate in 2016.


Michaelson Jenet, who first started in the House in 2017, was appointed to the seat on a 46-9 vote after being nominated by Moreno. Climate activist Lucy Molina was also running for the seat.

She will now represent Senate District 21, which includes northwest Aurora and southern Commerce City and extends east into Adams County.

Michaelson Jenet will serve for the duration of Moreno’s term, until January 2025. She is also registered as a candidate for the seat in the 2024 election.

“I’m excited to serve in Dominick’s unbelievably huge shoes,” she said at the conclusion of the vacancy committee meeting.

Michaelson Jenet is the current chair of the House Public and Behavioral Health and Human Services committee. In the House, she sponsored successful legislation to place the Healthy School Meals for All on the statewide ballot and establish the I Matter free youth therapy program, as well as bills related to mental health, sexual assault and education.

“Adams County voters can rest easy knowing they’ll continue being well represented by a strong voice in the Senate, and I look forward to working with Senator-elect Michaelson Jenet to build a stronger, safer and healthier Colorado for us all,” Senate President Steve Fenberg said in a statement.

Her appointment to the Senate now creates a vacancy for House District 32.

A vacancy committee convenes to select a new representative or senator when a lawmaker vacates their office. The committee is made up of members of the former lawmaker’s political party in the district. Rep.-elect Tim Hernández was appointed to the House last week by another vacancy committee.


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Sara Wilson
Sara Wilson

Sara Wilson covers state government, Colorado's congressional delegation, energy and other stories for Newsline. She formerly was a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain, where she covered politics and government in southern Colorado.