Josh Penry

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Josh Penry
Member of the Colorado Senate
from the 7th district
Assumed office
Personal details
Born 1976
Denver, Colorado
Political party Republican

Josh Penry (born 1976) is the former minority leader of the Colorado Senate.[1] Elected in 2006, Penry was the youngest member of the Colorado state Senate.[2] According to The Denver Post, Penry played a leadership role in opposing regulation for the oil and gas industry and a labor bill.[3] Penry has been identified by several newspapers as a "rising star" in Colorado politics.[4][5][6] Prior to serving in the state Senate, Penry served in the state House of Representatives for one term.[7]

Penry is a native of Colorado and a long-time resident of Western Colorado. Penry graduated from Grand Junction High School and Mesa State College, where he quarterbacked the Mesa State Mavericks football team and served as student body President. In 1998, Penry was named the National Scholar Athlete of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association and the Burger King Corporation, an award given to Peyton Manning the previous year.[8] Penry graduated summa cum laude from Mesa State in 1998.

Work as an aide[edit]

Penry moved to Washington, D.C. to work for Congressman Scott McInnis. First as an aide and then as Press Secretary, Penry helped McInnis formulate and negotiate natural resources legislation.[9] Penry was appointed staff director of the House Resources Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health, where he played a lead role in negotiation the Healthy Forests Restoration Act with the White House and Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill.[10][11]

State House[edit]

After returning to Grand Junction, Penry was elected to the state House in 2004.[12] In his first term, Penry sponsored and won passage for the "Colorado Water for the 21st Century Act", legislation designed to minimize water-resource fights.[13] Penry's bill, signed into law in June 2005, created roundtables for each river basin to assess and address regional water needs.[14]

In 2008, Penry was part of a bi-partisan effort involving Gov. Bill Ritter, Rep. Frank McNulty, and the Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) Board to divest public pension funds from companies with ties to Iran.[15] Penry also sponsored legislation to strengthen Colorado's education standards to better equip students to compete in a highly competitive global economic environment,[16] and he initiated and negotiated a bi-partisan bill to invest growing federal mineral lease revenues into Colorado's colleges and universities.[17] Penry was a principal supporter of 2008's Amendment 52, which would have directed mineral severance tax revenue away from water conservation projects to road building, but which failed at the polls.[18]

Penry has been at the center of numerous policy debates, including road and bridge funding initiatives,[19] efforts to pass Jessica's Law and other tough penalties against sexual predators,[20] the debate about natural gas drilling in Colorado,[21] and a range of tax, fiscal and budget issues.[22][23] While working closely on education issues with Colorado's Democratic Governor Bill Ritter, Penry has been a frequent critic of the Ritter Administration's tax, budget, jobs and union policies.[24][25][26][27][28]


Josh is the father of two children, a son Chase and a daughter Emme.


  1. ^ Mike Saccone, "Penry to lead GOP in Senate," Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, 6 November 2008 (accessed 24 November 2008)
  2. ^ "Profile: Senator Josh Penry," Colorado Senate News, 22 March 2007 (accessed 24 November 2008)
  3. ^ Jeri Clausing, "Underdogs still bark, young Republicans find," Denver Post, 29 April 2007 (accessed 24 November 2008)
  4. ^ Lynn Bartels, "GOP has faith in its young 'rock stars,'" Rocky Mountain News, 23 January 2006 (accessed 24 November 2008)
  5. ^ Bob Ewegen, "Republicans hitch their 2010 wagon to five rising stars," Denver Post, 28 December 2007 (accessed 24 November 2008).
  6. ^ "The Futures Market: Colorado," The Hotline, 19 December 2005 (accessed 24 November 2008)
  7. ^ Bob Ewegen, "Republicans hitch their 2010 wagon to five rising stars", Denver Post, 28 December 2007 (accessed 24 November 2008)
  8. ^ "From the Classroom to the Capitol", Mesa State College.
  9. ^ "From the Classroom to the Capitol," Mesa State College.
  10. ^ "From the Classroom to the Capitol", Mesa State College.
  11. ^ "Western Wild Fires Lead to Support for Bush's Logging Plan", Denver Post, 23 August 2002
  12. ^ "From the Classroom to the Capitol," Mesa State College.
  13. ^ "House Bill 05-1177", Colorado General Assembly (accessed 24 November 2008)
  14. ^ "Governor signs water compact legislation", Pueblo Chieftain, 8 June 2005 (accessed 24 November 2008)
  15. ^ "Colo. leaders to phase out Iran investments", Denver Post, 23 January 2008 (accessed 24 November 2008)
  16. ^ "Plan alters school testing", Denver Post, 18 April 2008 (accessed 24 November 2008)
  17. ^ "Bill puts oil and gas billions to work", Denver Post, 4 April 2008 (accessed 24 November 2008)
  18. ^ Mark Jaffe, "Water groups decry Amendment 52", Denver Post, 28 October 2008
  19. ^ Kevin Flynn, "GOP group seeks relief for I-70", Rocky Mountain News, 3 July 2008 (accessed 24 November 2008)
  20. ^ Mike Saccone, "State's economic decline creates roadblock for lawmakers pushing to pass Jessica's Law", Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, 15 November 2008 (accessed 24 November 2008)
  21. ^ John Schroyer, "Usual suspects praise, slam new oil and gas rules", Colorado Statesman, 27 June 2008 (accessed 24 November 2008)
  22. ^ Alan Gathright, "GOP senators say budget compromise scuttled by Ritter", Rocky Mountain News, 2 April 2008 (accessed 24 November 2008)
  23. ^ Mike Saccone, "Wubben Hall project assured, Mesa State officials say," Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, 23 October 2008 (accessed 24 November 2008)
  24. ^ Jennifer Brown, "Tax freeze bounty sparks conflict", Denver Post, 9 January 2008 (accessed 24 November 2008)
  25. ^ Jennifer Brown, "Ritter ends up in hot seat over hot topic", Denver Post, 9 November 2007 (accessed 24 November 2008)
  26. ^ Jeffrey Leib, "Car fees killed at Capitol", Denver Post, 2 May 2008 (accessed 24 November 2008).
  27. ^ Jennifer Brown, "GOP legislators: Early paroles warrant audit", Denver Post, 14 March 2008 (accessed 24 November 2008)
  28. ^ Tim Hoover, "Budget shortfalls projected," Denver Post, 23 September 2008 (accessed 24 November 2008)

External links[edit]