Pete Lee

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Pete Lee
Member of the Colorado House of Representatives
from the 18th district
Assumed office
January 11, 2011
Preceded by Michael Merrifield
Personal details
Born (1947-10-11) October 11, 1947 (age 66)
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Lynn Lee
Children Amanda
Robert E.
Residence Colorado Springs, Colorado
Alma mater University of Akron School of Law
Wharton School of Finance
Ohio Wesleyan University
Profession Attorney

Pete Lee (born October 11, 1947) is a legislator in the U.S. state of Colorado.[1] He was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 2010, as a Democrat representing House District 18, which includes central Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs in El Paso County.[2]


Lee lives in Colorado Springs and has three grown children. In his early adulthood, Lee worked in personnel for the Holly Sugar Corporation, a Fortune-500 company headquartered in Colorado Springs and later bought by Imperial Sugar. It was while working there that Lee took his bar exam and was admitted to the Colorado Bar Association. He practiced law for twenty-five years, first with a firm and later as a solo practitioner, representing individuals and small business owners in commercial and real estate transactions, employment, equal employment opportunity, franchising and litigation and criminal law.[3]

Lee has also worked infrequently as a real-estate agent, a college instructor and once owned 3 local potato restaurants.

An avid skier, Lee often skis with other state representatives and friends in Winter Park and other Colorado resorts on weekends.[4]

Legislative career[edit]

2010 election[edit]

In November 2010, Lee won a highly-contested State House race against Republican Karen Cullen, receiving 54.5 percent of the vote to 45.4 percent in a district within Republican-dominated El Paso County.[5] Lee's win kept the seat in Democratic hands during the 2010 midterm elections in which Republican candidates claimed most vulnerable seats in the state and country.

2011 Legislative Session[edit]

In 2011 Lee was assigned by his party to the House Judiciary Committee and the House Local Government Committee for his freshman year in the legislature.[6]

Drawing on his experience and interest in criminal justice law, Lee has introduced legislation promoting victims' rights and reducing recidivism. He advocates for laws allowing prosecutors or victims to use restorative justice, which is an approach to crime that focuses on the emotional needs and interests of victims, encourages offenders to take responsibility for their crimes and supports sentences that pay victims back when possible. Lee introduced a bill in 2011 to define and promote Restorative Justice in Colorado state law, encouraging it as an alternative to the existing corrections system in some cases and as a compliment to it in others.[7]

Lee also took a stand in favor of voting rights, and has supported increasing the convenience of and access to voting in order to improve turnout. In 2011 he supported the Uniform Military and Overseas Voting Act to help ensure that U.S. citizens in the armed forces stationed overseas are able to vote, and opposed legislation that would require citizens to have a birth certificate or Social Security card on-hand to register.[8]

2012 legislative session[edit]

In the 2012 legislative session the Democrats were in a slim minority: 33 Republicans, 32 Democrats in the State House. Lee severed as a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Local Government Committee.

Lee's major piece of legislation in 2012 was HB 12-1133: Economic Gardening Pilot Program. This bill would have provided management and technical assistance to second-stage small business. This program began in Littleton, Colorado and has been successful in eight other state. It provides high powered management consulting usually only available to Fortune 500 companies.

2012 election[edit]

In the 2012 General Election, Representative Lee faced Republican challenger Jennifer George. Lee was reelected by a margin of 53% to 41%.[9][10]

2013 legislative session[edit]

In the 2013 legislative session the Democrats were in the majority: 37 Democrats, 28 Republicans in the State House. Lee served as Vice-Chair of the House Judiciary Committee and as a member of the House Transportation & Energy Committee.

Lee's had two major pieces of legislation in 2013. HB 13-1254: Restorative Justice - This bill allows prefiling diversion to restorative justice for juveniles, provides for a study of the results and allows offenders and law enforcement to initiate the process.

His other major piece of legislation was HB 13-1292: The Keep Jobs in Colorado Act. This bill ensures that 80% of the labor force employed on public works will be Colorado labor and limits outsourcing.


  1. ^ "Pete Lee, HD-18". Colorado General Assembly Webpage. Retrieved 3 April 2011. 
  2. ^ "State Representative District 18". District Information - Boundary Data. Retrieved 3 April 2011. 
  3. ^ "About Pete". Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  4. ^ Bartels, Lynn. "Democratic Lawmakers Hit the Slope". The Spot Blog. The Denver Post. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  5. ^ "El Paso County: State House District 18 Election Results". Election '10. The Denver Post. Retrieved 3 April 2011. 
  6. ^ "Colo. House Minority Leader Unveils Committee Assignments". State Bill News. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  7. ^ McNally, Ali. "Restorative Justice Bills Introduced in Colorado House, Senate". State Bill Colorado. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  8. ^ Karnes, Bea. "State House approves bill to ensure voting rights of deployed military". NewsFirst5, Colorado Springs and Pueblo. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  9. ^ "CO - Election Results - Colorado Secretary of State". 
  10. ^ "State House 2012 Election Results - Denver Post".