The Democratic Party of Colorado's House District 4 will convene a vacancy committee to elect Colorado's newest State Representative. This committee was triggered by the resignation of House District 4 Representative Serena Gonzalez-Gutierrez, effective August 4th, 2023. This committee is authorized by and will be conducted in accordance with Colorado Revised Statute, the Rules of the Democratic Party of Denver, and the rules of the Colorado Democratic Party. The vacancy committee meeting will be conducted by the elected leadership of the HD4 Central Committee:
Emma Bliesener, Chair
Michael Sheehan, Vice Chair
Scott Mangino, Secretary
Saturday, August 26, 2023
Check-In @ 12pm
Forum @ 1pm
Vacancy Committee Meeting @ 2pm
In-Person (open to the public)
Peter Claver Hall @ Regis University 3333 Regis Boulevard Denver, CO 80221
Via Zoom (for Vacancy Committee Members ONLY)
Link provided prior to meeting.
Via YouTube Live (for the public)
Primary entrance is off Lowell Blvd and primary parking is in Lot 4.
Overflow parking available in Lot 5 (enter from Regis Blvd.)
Enter Peter Claver Hall from the west side (Lowell Blvd / Lower Lot 4).
Check-In will occur in the Lobby Area/Dining Room next to the Mountain View Room.
Donate to Support
We know these vacancy committee meetings can often feel closed off and inaccessible to the citizens of the district. So we've worked to create an open, inclusive, and engaging HD4 Forum & Vacancy Committee meeting and to provide a venue accessible and equipped with the necessary technical tools to facilitate a dynamic hybrid event. Achieving this mission, however, comes at a cost.
As you know, these committees may never be formed and aren't planned. While they are the responsibility of the party, there isn't a dedicated budget to support them. So we could really use your help to cover the costs of reserving the space. Please consider a donation in support of our Vacancy Committee Meeting. We would greatly appreciate it.
As of today, three candidates have submitted their intent, been verified, and are official candidates for this vacancy:
Cecelia M Espenoza
Candidates can announce prior to the meeting by emailing House District 4 Chair Emma Bliesener and House District 4 Secretary Scott Mangino. Candidates may also be nominated from the floor during the vacancy committee meeting. We will be sending out candidate information along with the official call. If you intend to run and would like your information included in the call, please email Emma and Scott with your name, email, and phone number by August 11th at midnight. To have their name listed on the vacancy ballot, candidates should submit their nominations to Emma and Scott at least 10 days prior to the meeting.
In order to give community and voting members an opportunity to hear from candidates, we have decided to host a forum immediately preceding the vacancy meeting. Candidates who have submitted their intent to run will be offered the ability to participate in the forum. If anyone is intending to be nominated from the floor, they will also have the ability to participate in the forum. The flow for the forum will be as follows:
Moderator introductions and forum proceedings
Candidate introductions (2 minutes each)
3 questions will be asked to all candidates pre-submitted and selected by our City Council Members- Amanda Sandoval, Jamie Torres, and Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez, as well as Denver Democratic Party Officers who do not live in House District 4. Candidates will have 2 minutes each to answer.
To submit a question, please fill out THIS GOOGLE FORM. The form will close 4 days before the vacancy forum is held.
3 live audience questions from voting members to all candidates. Candidates will have 2 minutes to answer.
Candidate wraps up. (1 minute each)
Vacancy Committee Meeting and Vote
We will gather voting members to the front of the room and make sure folks are tuned in who are participating remotely. We will call the meeting to order and establish a quorum and review and approve the rules for the meeting (rules will be sent with the official call). We will then move to nominations. At this time we will announce anyone who has declared and allow for nominations from the floor. We will then move to candidate nominations. The order will be selected randomly by pulling names from a hat. Candidates will be allotted 4 minutes total. By party rules, candidates can self-nominate or have another individual nominate them. Nominators, seconders, or any other speakers’ time will count toward the Candidate's allotted 4 minutes. We will then proceed to the vote. Votes will be cast on a Google form ballot with an electronic signature to be counted by the credentials committee. Should no candidate receive a majority of the members present and voting (50%+1), we will move to a run-off with the candidate receiving the least amount of votes being removed from the ballot. This process will continue until one candidate receives 50% + 1 of the vote. All attendees (voting members, guests, the public, and the press) are strongly encouraged to pre-register for the event. Click the button below to do so.
Notices and Frequently Asked Questions
Letter from Chair Emma Bliesener announcing vacancy (July 17, 2023)
Hello House District 4,
I hope you are doing well and finding time to enjoy these hot summer days. As you may have seen, Representative Gonzales-Gutierrez submitted her letter of resignation from her role as House District 4 Representative, effective August 4th, 2023. For the past five years, Representative Gonzales-Gutierrez has been an incredible champion for the people of House District 4, and while we are sad to see her go, we are incredibly proud and excited to see all that she will accomplish in her new role as Denver City Council Member At-Large.
For those I haven’t had the pleasure to meet in person, my name is Emma Bliesener. It is my honor to serve as the Chair of our House District 4 and the Assistant Secretary for the Denver Democrats.
As a lifelong Colorado resident born and raised in the Northside, House District 4 is my community and home to my family, friends, and colleagues. I went to high school in East Denver, I attended my first rally at Civic Center Park, and I got my start in community organizing in Southwest Denver. My heart and roots are all over this city. I am now incredibly privileged to be able to own a home here in the Northside just a few blocks away from my parents.
I know folks will have a lot of questions and excitement about our responsibility to hold a vacancy election in the coming weeks. The process is outlined in Colorado Revised Statute,the Rules of the Denver Democratic Party and the rules of the Colorado Democratic Party.
We have laid out the details about the upcoming vacancy committee in this email. Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to me via email or my cell.
This email is being sent to the broader House District 4 Democratic community for information purposes. Receiving this email does not mean you are a voting member of the vacancy committee. Information detailing who voting members are can be found below.
Thank you for your commitment to House District 4 and for engaging in this process alongside us.