Gubernatorial candidate John Hickenlooper announced last week one of CSUâ€™s own as his pick for lieutenant governor.
Denverâ€™s current mayor selected CSU-Pueblo President Joe Garcia for his leadership abilities and discussions with the community, and his love for education prompted Garcia to accept the nomination.
â€œJoe has had success solving problems by bringing the public and private sectors together in a meaningful way and by his tireless work ethic. Iâ€™m proud to have such a respected leader as my running mate,â€ Hickenlooper said, during his announcement.
Garcia, who carries a law degree from Harvard, was hesitant at first to accept. He had not met Hickenlooper prior to the race but admired his problem solving as Denverâ€™s mayor.
â€œMy first reaction was thanks but no thanks. Iâ€™ve never run for political office or had any political ambitions,â€ Garcia said. The Colorado lieutenant governor serves as chair of the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs and takes the place of the governor if he or she is absent.
Before joining the CSU system, Garcia was president of Pikes Peak Community College, the Rocky Mountain States representative for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the executive director of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies.
He joined the CSU system in 2006 as President of CSU-Pueblo, which has become one of the fastest growing colleges in Colorado.
Until Sept. 10, Garcia will continue his duties as president and pursue his candidacy in his spare time.
From then on, he will be temporarily relieved of his full-time service as president by taking accrued annual leave, according to a CSU press release. Garcia will then take unpaid
administrative leave until Nov. 3.
If Garciaâ€™s campaign is successful and he becomes lieutenant governor on or before Nov. 4, Election Day, then CSU System Chancellor Joe Blake and Garcia will agree upon the terms of his resignation, according to the release.
A search for a new permanent president of CSU-Pueblo would then commence.
If his campaign is unsuccessful, Garcia will resume his full-time duties as president of CSU-Pueblo on Nov. 4.
As per the boardâ€™s decision, CSU-Fort Collins President Tony Frank will serve as the temporary president of CSU-Pueblo from Sept. 10 through Nov. 4. Frankâ€™s duties at CSU-Fort Collins will not change as an effect.
Crime Beat Reporter Rachel Childs can be reached at news collegian.com.