Military veteran David Ortiz is running for re-election in HD38

BY FREDA MIKLIN
GOVERNMENT REPORTER

When he was first elected in 2020, David Ortiz, whose service as a helicopter pilot for the United States Army in Afghanistan led to a crash that left him paralyzed from the waist down, had already helped get several bills passed into law that benefited veterans and others. During his first term representing state House District 38 in Centennial, he was the prime sponsor of SB21-188 Ballot Access for Voters with Disabilities, HB21-1110 Colorado Laws for Persons with Disabilities, and HB21-1065 Veterans’ Hiring Preference. He co-sponsored many other bills.

At a campaign fundraiser to support his re-election on July 27, Rep. Meg Froelich told over 50 supporters who attended  that Ortiz’ “leadership has been transformational.” 

Ortiz told The Villager that, since joining the general assembly, he was most proud of having “stuck to my values and not forgotten where I come from,” explaining, “I worked for veterans, being one myself, getting veterans’ preference hiring. I passed seven disability-rights laws, including three first-in-the-nation laws that are now being looked at in states across the country to increase disability access. I supported small businesses coming out of COVID-19 because they are the backbone of our economy. We were able to get them $400 million in tax cuts without impacting the state budget.” 

Describing his overall experience during his first term, Ortiz told us that, “I am not here to be a career politician. At the heart of it, I am a veteran, I am a citizen, I am a voter. I need to look at myself in the morning in the mirror.”

If re-elected, Ortiz said, “I want to work hand-in-hand with small business around access. I am in conversations with peer-to-peer car rental companies about making their services available to disabled individuals.” (These companies coordinate renting out one’s personal vehicle when the owner isn’t using it the way that Airbnb rents out people’s homes.) Ortiz continued, “I am excited about working with them collaboratively to expand this service. Their role is to establish a business model that works for them; then I will work to get it made into a statute that helps all affected Coloradans.”

Ortiz, a Democrat, is being opposed in his bid for re-election in November by Republican newcomer Jaylen Mosqueira.

Among the more than 50 people on hand to support Rep. Ortiz were Arapahoe County Commissioner Carrie Warren-Gully, CU Regent Ilana Spiegel, Centennial City Council Member Christine Sweetland, and Amy Padden, 5th Judicial District Deputy District Attorney. Padden ran for 18th Judicial District Attorney in 2018, losing to incumbent John Kellner by 1,425 votes out of 573,379 cast.

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