Saturday, January 12, 2008

The first state Senate President in Colorado

Well we're not the only state that has a black Senate President. Hat-tip to the 13th Floor for this Denver Post report...

Sen. Peter Groff hurried up the state Capitol's marble steps Wednesday morning, running a tad behind for his date with history.

He wasn't exactly late for the Senate's 10 a.m. start; he had just hoped to arrive sooner.

But before he could take his place as the first black Colorado Senate president, Groff needed to make sure his two young children were fed and dressed and his lecture for that evening's class at the University of Denver was finished.

"I probably should have gotten up earlier," Groff, a Denver Democrat, said later.

Groff's momentous first day as Senate president was a mix of emotion and commotion, of tender moments and standard pomp.

In the Senate gallery, friends and supporters filled the seats and leaned over the railing to take pictures, wanting to bear witness to the day when Colorado's Senate —officially and unanimously — elected a black man its leader.

The move comes nearly 85 years after a well-documented period in Colorado history when members of the Ku Klux Klan held majorities in both houses of the legislature and controlled the governor's office.

"This is making history," said Menola Upshaw, leader of Denver's branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

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