Members of the Colorado House of Representatives are sworn in on Jan. 9, 2023. (Sara Wilson/Colorado Newsline)
Jenn Kaaoush, a member of the town of Superior’s Board of Trustees and a survivor of the Marshall Fire that destroyed over a thousand homes in 2021, announced that she is running for state House District 12.
“For the past year, I have been a serious community advocate and lead for the Marshall Fire recovery,” Kaaoush said in a statement on her website. “Our community must have real representation and a leader within HD-12 who is actively involved in its recovery.”
Kaaoush is among several candidates seeking to fill the seat of former state Rep. Tracey Bernett, who resigned from her position the day before the 2023 legislative session was set to take place. As a result, the 74th General Assembly convened last week without a representative for District12, which covers Lafayette, Louisville, Niwot and Superior.
Bernett, a Democrat, is facing felony charges after the Boulder district attorney alleged the former lawmaker lied about her residence in order to run in a district that leaned heavily Democratic, after redistricting placed her Longmont home in House District 19, which slightly favors Republicans.
With Kaaoush’s announcement, the number of candidates vying for the seat grows to seven candidates, including Louisville City Councilmember Kyle Brown, former U.S. Rep. David Skaggs, Boulder Valley School District Board of Education Member Kitty Sargent, Peter Terhune, Emily Coffee and Alfredo Alvarado.
Outside of her experience as a Superior trustee, Kaaoush has served on Superior’s Planning Commission, Parks and Recreation Committee, and on the Board of Democratic Women of Boulder County. She is also a fourth-generation Army veteran and served in embassies in the Middle East.
The Boulder County Democratic Party will convene a vacancy committee later this month consisting of 53 members, including precinct leaders, district officers and current lawmakers to choose the replacement for Bernett. The list of the members on the committee will not be made public, according to Boulder County Democratic Party Chair Amy Weinstein.
Plans for a candidate forum will be announced later this week, with the goal of “helping members of the committee become more informed voters,” Weinstein said. Both the forum and proceedings will be live-streamed on the Boulder County Democratic Party’s YouTtube channel on Jan. 28 at 1 p.m., where a representative will be chosen.
“Our role is to be transparent,” Weinstein said. “We administer this process. If we don’t reach a vote in 31 days, the governor can appoint someone. For us, we feel this is the most democratic process.”
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