Rather than heading home to her district after her first session in the Colorado Legislature, Colorado Peak Politics has learned freshman Rep. Brittany Pettersen (D-Lakewood) is instead spending her summer running former Lt. Governor Barbara O’Brien’s campaign for Denver school board.
O’Brien confirmed the rumor to us in an email this afternoon, saying “Yes she is, and she’s fabulous!”
While O’Brien may appreciate the former community organizer’s efforts, Pettersen’s constituents are likely to be less happy about having their representative playing politics in another district.
Pettersen’s efforts also are likely to frustrate some of her biggest donors from 2012.
O’Brien is running against the teachers union preferred candidate, Michael Kiley, for the at-large seat on the Denver school board. But in 2012, Pettersen took at least $10,800 from teachers unions, including $4,500 from the Colorado Education Association (CEA) and $4,500 from the Jefferson County Education Association.
The CEA’s Denver affiliate, the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA), endorsed Kiley for the school board race back in May.
Complicating this campaign relationship further is the fact that Rep. Pettersen sits on the House Education Committee. There’s something unseemly about a former Lt. Governor paying a sitting Representative to run her campaign for a position where she’ll be seeking that same Representative’s vote on matters related to the Denver school board, should O’Brien win.