Democrats pick first black to lead state Senate |

Democrats pick first black to lead state Senate

AP PhotoSen. Peter Groff

DENVER, Colorado ” Democrats picked Sen. Peter Groff lead the state Senate on Thursday, replacing Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald, who resigned to run for Congress.

Groff would become the first black to lead the chamber when the full Senate votes on the nomination when it convenes in January.

The Denver Democrat said the state faces a number of major issues next year. He said it will be an opportunity for Colorado to put forward new ideas to deal with renewable energy, transportation, education and health care.

He said being nominated to be the first black president in state history is historic, but the state faces bigger challenges.

“I think the bigger issue is the issues we face in this state and how the body deals with this,” he said.

The Democratic Senate caucus nominated Sen. Abel Tapia, D-Pueblo, to be president pro tem, and Sen. John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, to replace Tapia on the Joint Budget Committee, which sets the state’s spending priorities.

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