State Rep. Faith Winter, a Westminster Democrat, celebrated a birthday on Sunday and took the occasion to announce she’s running in next year’s election for the Senate District 24 seat held by state Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik, a Thornton Republican, in a race that could determine which party controls the chamber.
Winter will likely face a primary against Thornton City Councilman Adam Matkowsky, a police officer and Marine Corps veteran, who filed to run for the north metro seat a month ago.
In a nearly 10-minute video shot at her house, Winter meanders from room to room, stopping every minute or so to let a different set of supporters — including fellow lawmakers, Adams County officials, community leaders and family members — say why they think the two-term incumbent lawmaker will make a good senator. (It’s something of a cinematic tour de force as the camera moves from one group to the next without a single cut.)
Winter says she decided to run for the GOP-controlled upper chamber because she’s tired of seeing her bills die there, even when her legislation has Republican sponsors.
“I ran an affordable housing bill,” she says. “I worked on a climate change bill. But, unfortunately, they went to the Senate to die. As a working mom, I also tried to make childcare more affordable and support paid family leave. But all my hard work just keep going to the Senate to die. So when things get hard, I work harder.”
Three Democratic lawmakers vouch for Winter early in the video.
“I haven’t had much faith in the state Senate recently, but I know with Faith there, I will,” says state Sen. Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work with Faith the last two years,” says House Majority Whip Brittany Pettersen, D-Lakewood. “We worked for equal pay, fighting for women and working families. I know she’ll never stop fighting for you.”
Calling Winter her mentor, state Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet, D-Commerce City, says, “Faith has taught me to lead with respect and compassion, and there is nothing more we need than that, and Faith will bring that to the state Senate.”
Adams County Commissioners Eva Henry and Mary Hodge — a former Democratic state senator from a neighboring district — appear later in the video and say they’re backing Winter. “We know that Faith will stand up to bullies,” Hodge says.
The suburban seat, which includes Northglenn, Thornton and Westminster, is one of just two Republican-held swing seats up for election in 2018. Senate Republicans have held a single-seat majority since the 2014 election and credited Martinez Humenik with an unexpected win to seal their first majority in the chamber in a dozen years. She won the seat by just 896 votes, shocking Adams County Democrats, who also lost a House seat and several county offices in the same election.
The video wraps up with her two children, Sienna and Tobin, delivering their endorsements, and then the nearly two dozen supporters gather to wish Winter a happy birthday.