Pueblo vacancy committee elects Hinrichsen as Sen. Garcia’s replacement

By: - February 21, 2022 11:33 am
Nick Hinrichsen

A Democratic vacancy committee elected Nick Hinrichsen, operations supervisor for Pueblo Transit, to replace Senate President Leroy Garcia. (Courtesy of Nick Hinrichsen campaign)

A vacancy committee selected a replacement for Colorado Senate President Leroy Garcia, a Pueblo Democrat who is leaving the state legislature for a Pentagon appointment.

Nick Hinrichsen, who had already launched a 2022 campaign for the Senate District 3 seat, will now finish out Garcia’s term. Garcia is resigning effective Feb. 23, but his term officially ends next January. The bulk of the work for Hinrichsen as Garcia’s replacement will take place during the legislative session, which ends in May.


“Pueblo — I asked for your voice and you delivered!” Hinrichsen, who is operations supervisor for Pueblo Transit, wrote in a Saturday Facebook post. “I’m honored to be your new State Senator.”

“While I’m thrilled with today’s results, the work is far from finished,” he added, providing a link to donate to his Senate campaign. Hinrichsen is an Army veteran who’s married to former state Rep. Bri Buentello.

The vacancy committee meeting was held Saturday at Pueblo County Democratic Party headquarters. Of the 152 committee members, 106 were present online via Zoom or in person, according to a post on the county party’s website.

Runners-up were Jason Muñoz, Angela Giron and Brandon Martin, the post said.

Muñoz, who unsuccessfully ran for the state House of Representatives in 2016 and Pueblo City Council in 2017, has also filed to run for Garcia’s seat in November, meaning there will be a Democratic primary election in June. District 3 leans blue, with Democrats enjoying a 5.1 percentage point advantage, according to a 2021 analysis by nonpartisan redistricting staff.

A Republican primary is also shaping up for the Senate district, with three GOP candidates — Alexander Mugatu, Judy Reyher and Ron Parker — having filed to run for the seat.

Unlike Garcia, Hinrichsen will not be presiding over the Senate. The Democratic caucus elected Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, a Boulder Democrat, to succeed Garcia as president.


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Faith Miller
Faith Miller

Faith Miller was a reporter with Colorado Newsline covering the Colorado Legislature, immigration and other stories.