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State Rep. Brittany Pettersen and ProgressNow’s Ian Silverii get married at Colorado governor’s mansion

Author: Ernest Luning - July 1, 2017 - Updated: July 3, 2017

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Newlyweds Ian Silverii, executive director of ProgressNow Colorado, and state Rep. Brittany Pettersen, raise their arms after saying their vows on Saturday, July 1, 2017, at the Governor's Residence at Boettcher Mansion in Denver. (Photo by Michele Holtje Todaro via Facebook)
Newlyweds Ian Silverii, executive director of ProgressNow Colorado, and state Rep. Brittany Pettersen, D-Lakewood, raise their arms after saying their vows on Saturday, July 1, 2017, at the Governor’s Residence at Boettcher Mansion in Denver. (Photo by Michele Holtje Todaro via Facebook)

State Rep. Brittany Pettersen, a Democratic candidate for Congress, and Ian Silverii, executive director of ProgressNow Colorado, both of Lakewood, were married on Saturday, July 1, in a ceremony in the carriage house and garden at the Governor’s Residence at Boettcher Mansion in Denver in front of hundreds of friends and family members. The bride is the daughter of Brent and Stacy Pettersen of Englewood. The groom is the son of Ed and Terry Silverii of East Brunswick, New Jersey.

The ceremony was officiated by former House Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, a Gunbarrel Democrat, and state Rep. Janet Buckner, an Aurora Democrat, read the ee cummings poem “i carry your heart with me” during the wedding.

The maids of honor were Johanna Jackson and April Andrews. The best man was Alex Silverii, brother of the groom, and Sadie Hansen and Courtney Law were grooms ma’ams. Bridesmaids were Jennifer Hillbloom, Joey Laguardia, Jessica Jaramillo, Henley Johnson, Taylor Johnson, Toni Panetta, Brooke Pettersen, Serena Woods, Ashley Wheeland and state Rep. Faith Winter, a Westminster Democrat. Groomsmen were David Oppenheim, Bryan Pettersen, James Pettersen, Nate Ragolia, Jonathan Tarella, Jonathan Vanderweir, Max Winkler and state Rep. Chris Kennedy, a Lakewood Democrat.

“Silvettersen,” as the couple has taken to calling their union, met on what Silverii describes as a cold January day in 2011 a block from the state Capitol in front of City O’ City on the corner of East 13th Avenue and Sherman Street, where Pettersen was standing in the freezing weather with a clipboard when Silverii walked past. “Do you have a minute to save the children?” he recalls she asked. Rather than reply with a snappy comeback, he says he “likely stammered on and on” before asking for her phone number and then waited “the requisite 16 hours” before calling her.

The couple held their rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding at the home of Barbara O’Brien, a Denver Public Schools Board member who served one term as lieutenant governor of Colorado. The reception was also held at the carriage house and grounds at the Governor’s Residence.

The bride was first elected to represent House District 28 in 2012 and has been reelected twice. Pettersen, the House majority whip, chairs the House Education Committee and sits on the House Public Health Care and Human Services Committee. A fourth-generation Coloradan, she earned her undergraduate degree from Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Pettersen is one of three declared candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for next year’s election in the 7th Congressional District in Jefferson and Adams counties. State Sens. Andy Kerr of Lakewood and Dominick Moreno of Commerce City are also running in the primary for the seat, which is represented by U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor of Colorado. Kerr and Moreno attended the wedding.

The groom has been executive director of advocacy organization ProgressNow Colorado for just over a year. Prior to that, he was the lead staffer for Hullingorst and the Democratic majority in the House. In 2014, he was executive director of the state Democratic Party’s House Majority Project, which works to elect Democrats to the chamber, having served as deputy director for the previous two cycles. He is a graduate of Rutger’s University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

The couple plans to celebrate their wedding and the Fourth of July weekend in Grand Lake with friends and family, “and then we’re coming right home to get back to work,” Silverii told Colorado Politics.

— Ernest.Luning@coloradopolitics.com

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. Since 2009, he has been the senior political reporter and occasional editor for The Colorado Statesman.


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