|Member of the Colorado Senate
from the 5th district
January 10, 2007 – January 7, 2015
|Preceded by||Lewis Entz|
|Succeeded by||Kerry Donovan|
|Alma mater||University of Colorado|
Gail Sheridan Schwartz was a legislator in the U.S. state of Colorado. Elected to the Colorado State Senate as a Democrat in 2006, Schwartz represented Senate District 5, which covers a large section of south-central Colorado, ranging from Aspen, and Delta, Colorado through the San Luis Valley to the New Mexico border. Schwartz left office in 2015 after serving two terms and unsuccessfully ran for the United States House of Representatives in Colorado's 3rd congressional district.
Born and raised in Chicago, Schwartz holds a bachelor's degree in marketing from the University of Colorado. Schwartz has worked as Director of Development, and later Acting Director for the Pitkin County Housing Authority. She has also worked as a real estate and marketing consultant and as an executive for Sno-Engineering, Inc.
Schwartz was involved in education issues in the Aspen School District, including campaigning for a $4 million local bond election for technology in local schools. She received the Aspen School District's "Outstanding Service Award." She was appointed by Gov. Roy Romer to the Colorado Commission on Higher Education as a representative of the Western Slope from 1995 to 1999.
In 2000, Schwartz was nominated as the Democratic candidate for the Board of Regents of the University of Colorado from Colorado's 3rd Congressional district. She faced Republican incumbent Hank Anton and campaigned on increasing accessibility to higher education, particularly for the largely rural and underserved Western Slope of Colorado. She was elected with roughly 51 percent of the popular vote, becoming the third Democrat on the nine-member board. After being elected, Schwartz supported adding sexual orientation to the university's nondiscrimination policy. Schwartz also served as vice-chair of the Board of Regents.
|Bills Introduced in 2007 by Sen. Schwartz
(for which Sen. Schwartz is the primary originating sponsor)
|SB07-041||Concerning the creation of the "Public School Facilities Act" to address capital construction in Colorado public schools [...]||Signed by Gov. Ritter|
|SB07-054||Concerning removal of bonding limits on higher education research building revolving funds.||Signed by Gov. Ritter|
|SB07-091||Concerning renewable resource generation development areas [...] and creating a task force [...]||Signed by Gov. Ritter|
|SB07-152||Concerning volunteer services by dental professionals who hold a license in good standing from another state.||Signed by Gov. Ritter|
|SB07-155||Concerning fees charged to a customer using an account from a foreign bank.||Signed by Gov. Ritter|
|SB07-206||Concerning the biological pest control cash fund [...]||Signed by Gov. Ritter|
|SB07-207||Concerning the "Colorado Feed Law."||Signed by Gov. Ritter|
|SB07-208||Concerning the regulation of persons who treat the hearing impaired and [...] continuing the registration of audiologists and hearing aid providers.||Signed by Gov. Ritter|
|SB07-209||Concerning creation of a council to facilitate collaboration in health careers education in southern Colorado and [...] creating the Southern Colorado Council for Excellence in Health Careers Education.||Signed by Gov. Ritter|
|SB07-220||Concerning an increase in the powers of the Rio Grande Water Conservation District and [...] specifying the establishment, operation, and financing procedures of subdistricts [...]||Signed by Gov. Ritter|
|SB07-253||Concerning price insurance contracts to minimize anticipated fluctuations in the amount of revenue derived from oil and gas production.||Signed by Gov. Ritter|
In the 2006 Colorado legislative elections, Schwartz defeated incumbent Republican Lewis Entz with less than 51 percent of the popular vote. Schwartz was elected to represent Senate District 5, which includes Alamosa, Chaffee, Conejos, Costilla, Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Mineral, Pitkin, Rio Grande, and Saguache Counties.
2007 legislative session
In the 2007 session of the General Assembly, Schwartz was vice-chair of the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources & Energy Committee, vice-chair of the Senate Local Government Committee, and sat on the Senate Business, Labor and Technology Committee.
Following the regular session, Schwartz chaired the legislature's interim committee on allocation of severance tax and federal mineral lease revenues and served on the Water Resources Review Committee.
2008 legislative session
In the 2008 session of the General Assembly, Schwartz serves as vice-chair of the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources & Energy Committee, vice-chair of the Senate Local Government Committee, and sits on the Senate Business, Labor and Technology Committee and the Legislative Audit Committee.
During the 2008 session, Schwartz sponsored legislation to require Colorado's chief information officer to map broadband internet access in Colorado, and legislation to require greater public disclosure about prospective mining activities. In total, Schwartz sponsored 16 House and Senate bills, 14 of which were passed into law.
2009 legislative session
Following the legislative session, Schwartz was appointed to a seat on the legislature's Capital Development Committee, replacing term-limited Sen. Sue Windels. For the 2009 session of the Colorado General Assembly, she was named chair of the Senate Local Government and Energy Committee and a member of the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.
Schwartz voted yes for Senate Bill 170 would have allowed students who are in the country illegally and who have graduated from Colorado high schools to pay in-state tuition plus the cost of a state stipend that other Colorado students receive. The bill was rejected.
In November 2008, Schwartz was named chair of a special legislative Committee on Job Creation and Economic Growth, tasked with developing recommendations on bolstering Colorado's economy before the 2009 legislative session. The committee developed some 30 proposals, ranging from public works projects to tax incentives, designed to spur job creation in Colorado, for consideration during the 2009 legislative session.
Schwartz is one of the only Colorado Senators to ever vote "no" for her own bill.
2016 Congressional candidacy
Schwartz unsuccessfully sought to represent Colorado's 3rd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives. The Cook Political Report described Schwartz as the "top potential" recruit for Democrats for the race, citing Schwartz's previous successful campaigns in tough elections. Schwartz won the Democratic primary for the seat, but lost to Republican incumbent Scott Tipton in the general election.
- Home | Gail Schwartz
- "State Senate District 5". COMaps. Retrieved 2008-04-04.
- McAvoy, Tom (3 June 2000). "Dennises selected delegates to the Republican Convention". Pueblo Chieftain. Retrieved 2008-04-26.
- Nadzam, Bonnie (22 October 2000). "Aspen resident stresses higher education while campaigning for CU seat". Steamboat Pilot & Today. Retrieved 2008-04-26.es/
- Poppen, Julie (8 November 2000). "Democrat looks like winner in CU Regent race". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2008-04-26.
- Dodge, Jefferson (30 November 2000). "Regent: Add sexual orientation to policy". Silver & Gold Record. Retrieved 2008-04-26.
- "Senator Schwartz". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 2008-04-04.
- Essex, Randy (28 June 2016). "Tipton coasts to primary victory; will face Schwartz". The Aspen Times. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
- "Senate Committees of Reference". Colorado General Assembly. Retrieved 2008-02-06.
- "Allocation of Severance Tax and Federal Mineral Lease Revenues". Colorado Legislative Council. Retrieved 2008-04-27.[dead link]
- "Water Resources Review Committee". Colorado Legislative Council. Archived from the original on February 10, 2009. Retrieved 2008-04-27.
- "Senate Committees of Reference". Colorado General Assembly. Retrieved 2008-02-06.
- Weiser, Phil (11 April 2008). "SPEAKOUT: Broadband for all". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2008-04-13.
- Staff Reports (30 April 2008). "Schwartz/Curry push mining reform bill". Crested Butte News. Retrieved 2008-05-03.
- Saccone, Mike (14 June 2008). "Lawmakers largely successful with bills". Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. Retrieved 2008-06-19.[dead link]
- Ashby, Charles (14 June 2008). "Area adds muscle on state construction committee". Pueblo Chieftain. Retrieved 2008-06-14.
- Mook, Bob (18 November 2008). "Rice to chair House business committee". Denver Business Journal. Retrieved 2008-11-23.
- Jensen, Erika (13 November 2008). "Senate Democrats Announce Committee Assignments". The Cherry Creek News. Archived from the original on January 9, 2009. Retrieved 2008-11-24.
- "Legislative Leaders Convene Committee On Job Creation & Economic Growth" (Press release). Colorado House Democrats. 20 November 2008.
- Ingold, John (24 November 2008). "JStatehouse jobs panel convenes, given sobering outlook". Denver Post. Retrieved 2008-11-25.
- Ingold, John (27 January 2009). "Panel considers 30 bills to boost state's budget". Denver Post. Retrieved 2009-03-12.
- Saccone, Mike (20 January 2009). "The Inauguration: Historic moment inspires Colorado political leaders". Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. Retrieved 2009-02-08.[dead link]
- Matthews, Mark (8 April 2016). "Gail Schwartz looks to unseat Scott Tipton". The Denver Post. Retrieved 11 August 2016.