Josh Penry

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Josh Penry
Penry in 2009
Member of the Colorado Senate
from the 7th district
In office
January 2, 2007 – January 2011
Preceded byRon Teck
Succeeded bySteve King
Member of the Colorado House of Representatives
from the 54th district
In office
January 2005 – January 2007
Preceded byMatt Smith
Succeeded bySteve King
Personal details
Born (1976-02-01) February 1, 1976 (age 44)
Denver, Colorado, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Alma materColorado Mesa University

Josh Penry (born February 1, 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 married to Kristin Strohm, a principal at the Starboard Group, a political firm in Colorado. Josh is the father of four children - Chase, Emme, Sophie and Caroline. [29]


  1. ^ Mike Saccone, "Penry to lead GOP in Senate," Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, November 6, 2008 (accessed November 24, 2008)
  2. ^ "Profile: Senator Josh Penry," Archived July 25, 2008, at the Wayback Machine Colorado Senate News, March 22, 2007 (accessed November 24, 2008)
  3. ^ Jeri Clausing, "Underdogs still bark, young Republicans find," Denver Post, April 29, 2007 (accessed November 24, 2008)
  4. ^ Lynn Bartels, "GOP has faith in its young 'rock stars,'" Rocky Mountain News, January 23, 2006 (accessed November 24, 2008)
  5. ^ Bob Ewegen, "Republicans hitch their 2010 wagon to five rising stars," Denver Post, December 28, 2007 (accessed November 24, 2008).
  6. ^ "The Futures Market: Colorado," Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine The Hotline, December 19, 2005 (accessed November 24, 2008)
  7. ^ Bob Ewegen, "Republicans hitch their 2010 wagon to five rising stars", Denver Post, December 28, 2007 (accessed November 24, 2008)
  8. ^ "From the Classroom to the Capitol". Mesa State College. Archived from the original on August 29, 2008.
  9. ^ "From the Classroom to the Capitol," Archived August 29, 2008, at the Wayback Machine Mesa State College.
  10. ^ "From the Classroom to the Capitol" Archived August 29, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, Mesa State College.
  11. ^ "Western Wild Fires Lead to Support for Bush's Logging Plan", Denver Post, August 23, 2002
  12. ^ "From the Classroom to the Capitol," Archived August 29, 2008, at the Wayback Machine Mesa State College.
  13. ^ "House Bill 05-1177", Colorado General Assembly (accessed November 24, 2008)
  14. ^ "Governor signs water compact legislation", Pueblo Chieftain, June 8, 2005 (accessed November 24, 2008)
  15. ^ "Colo. leaders to phase out Iran investments", Denver Post, January 23, 2008 (accessed November 24, 2008)
  16. ^ "Plan alters school testing", Denver Post, April 18, 2008 (accessed November 24, 2008)
  17. ^ "Bill puts oil and gas billions to work", Denver Post, April 4, 2008 (accessed November 24, 2008)
  18. ^ Mark Jaffe, "Water groups decry Amendment 52", Denver Post, October 28, 2008
  19. ^ Kevin Flynn, "GOP group seeks relief for I-70", Rocky Mountain News, July 3, 2008 (accessed November 24, 2008)
  20. ^ Mike Saccone, "State's economic decline creates roadblock for lawmakers pushing to pass Jessica's Law"[permanent dead link], Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, November 15, 2008 (accessed November 24, 2008)
  21. ^ John Schroyer, "Usual suspects praise, slam new oil and gas rules" Archived November 21, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, Colorado Statesman, June 27, 2008 (accessed November 24, 2008)
  22. ^ Alan Gathright, "GOP senators say budget compromise scuttled by Ritter", Rocky Mountain News, April 2, 2008 (accessed November 24, 2008)
  23. ^ Mike Saccone, "Wubben Hall project assured, Mesa State officials say," Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, October 23, 2008 (accessed November 24, 2008)
  24. ^ Jennifer Brown, "Tax freeze bounty sparks conflict", Denver Post, January 9, 2008 (accessed November 24, 2008)
  25. ^ Jennifer Brown, "Ritter ends up in hot seat over hot topic", Denver Post, November 9, 2007 (accessed November 24, 2008)
  26. ^ Jeffrey Leib, "Car fees killed at Capitol", Denver Post, May 2, 2008 (accessed November 24, 2008).
  27. ^ Jennifer Brown, "GOP legislators: Early paroles warrant audit", Denver Post, March 14, 2008 (accessed November 24, 2008)
  28. ^ Tim Hoover, "Budget shortfalls projected," Denver Post, September 23, 2008 (accessed November 24, 2008)
  29. ^

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