Pueblo’s Pace throws in for 3rd House District seat

Sal Pace

Pueblo Democrat Sal Pace has announced that he plans to challenge U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton for his congressional seat next year.

In an interview, the Colorado House minority leader told The Daily Sentinel that he would enter the 3rd Congressional District race, saying he’s doing so because he believes he can better represent the expansive district than the Republican who currently holds the seat.

Ironically, Pace started his political career working for the same man Tipton unseated last year, former U.S. Rep. John Salazar.

“What I think the citizens of the 3rd Congressional District are looking for is a member of Congress who can reach compromise and consensus and is willing to work across the aisle to find commonsense solutions,” Pace said. “I’m a pragmatic public servant who is willing to work with anyone to find the solutions that we need to improve our community.”

Pace, 34, was elected to the House in 2009 when the Democrats still held a majority. Last year, when the Democrats lost that 65-member chamber to Republicans by a one-vote margin, Pace was elected by other Democrats as their leader.

During the session, House Speaker Frank McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch, routinely praised Pace for his willingness to work across party lines. During this year’s session, the two played poker with other lawmakers on a weekly basis.

As a result, Pace said he was unwilling to launch any attacks on Tipton. The two briefly served in the state House before Tipton defeated Salazar last fall.

“There’ll be a lot of time in the course of this campaign to contrast our views on the issues,” Pace said of Tipton.

Prior to getting elected, Pace served as Salazar’s district manager in his Pueblo office. Before that, Pace was Salazar’s legislative aide when the former congressman served in the Colorado House during the 2003 and 2004 sessions.

In 1999, Pace earned his undergraduate degree in political science from Fort Lewis College in Durango. Two years later, he earned a master’s degree in political science from Louisiana State University.

He and his wife Marlene, have two sons, Wyatt and Carlo.


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