Sal Pace

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Sal Pace
Member of the Colorado House of Representatives
from the 46th district
In office
January 7, 2009 – November 6, 2012
Preceded byDorothy Butcher
Succeeded byLeroy Garcia
Personal details
Born (1976-12-14) December 14, 1976 (age 45)
New London, Connecticut
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseMarlene Valdez Pace
EducationFort Lewis College (BA)
Louisiana State University (MA)

Sal Pace (born December 14, 1976) is an American politician and marijuana advocate who served as a member of the Colorado House of Representatives, where he represented House District 46, which includes western Pueblo, Colorado from 2008 to 2012.[1] During his time at the state house, Pace served as the Colorado House minority leader. In 2012, he ran against incumbent congressman Republican Scott Tipton in Colorado's 3rd Congressional District, although Tipton was ultimately re-elected.[2] He then served as a County Commissioner of Pueblo County, Colorado until 2019.

Early life and education[edit]

Pace, the youngest of nine children, moved to Colorado when he was 18. He attended Fort Lewis College, where he majored in political science and was appointed by the State Board of Agriculture to serve on a search committee for a Fort Lewis College president. He then attended Louisiana State University, earning a master's degree in American political theory.[3]


Pace taught American government at Pueblo Community College and Colorado State University–Pueblo.[4]

Pace served as a legislative aide to John Salazar in the Colorado House of Representatives, where he worked on water and health care legislation. When Salazar was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, Pace continued to work for him as a District Director, Congressional staffer, and as the manager of Salazar's 2006 re-election campaign.[3][5]

Pace was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 2008, and served until 2012. During his time in the house, Pace advocated for statewide marijuana legalization. In 2012, recreational marijuana use was legalized through Colorado Amendment 64. Pace has drafted and sponsored several bills related to marijuana policy, and has been credited with transforming Pueblo County, Colorado into the "Napa Valley of cannabis." Since leaving the State House, Pace continued to specialize in marijuana policy on the county level.[6][7][8] Pace serves on the national board of the Marijuana Policy Project,[9] which advocates for liberalizing marijuana laws within states. He also sits on the national advisory board at HeadCount's Cannabis Voter Project.[10] In Colorado, Pace is a Governor-appointed board member on the Institute of Cannabis Research.

After the 2018 Colorado gubernatorial election, Pace was selected to serve as a co-chair on Governor-elect Jared Polis' transition team.[11]

Pace currently consults in government affairs and cannabis policy.[12]

2012 Congressional election[edit]

Pace's race was touted as a primary example by Time Magazine of the role that so-called SuperPacs can play in winning an election. Having gotten close in the polls near October 1, the GOP money machine targeted the seat. Without Democrats matching, Pace ultimately lost.[13]

In the 2012 General Election, Pace faced Republican Congressman Scott Tipton. Tipton won by a margin of 53% to 41%, with the remainder of the vote going to third-party candidates.[14][15][16]

Pueblo County Commission[edit]

From 2013 until 2019, Pace served as a County Commissioner of Pueblo County, Colorado. As one of three commissioners, each elected county-wide, he represented the 165,000 residents of Pueblo County.[17]

Pace has been an advocate for passenger rail in Colorado; and chaired the Southwest Chief Passenger Rail Commission while serving as a County Commissioner. In 2016 Pace received the highest national recognition from Amtrak, the President's Safety and Service Award.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Pace is divorced and has three children.[3][19]


  1. ^ "State House District 36". COMaps. Retrieved 2007-12-23.
  2. ^ "Denver Post - U.S. House 2012 Election Results".
  3. ^ a b c
  4. ^ "The Durango Herald - Local News - Sal Pace".
  5. ^ Garner, Joe (20 October 2006). "Salazar-financed poll shows him with big lead". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2008-11-02.
  6. ^ Mitchell, Thomas (2020-08-26). "Gardner Wants USDA to Slow Down on Federal Hemp Rules". Westword. Retrieved 2020-08-27.
  7. ^ Jun 26 2017June 29, Commentary; 2017 (2017-06-26). "UPDATED — Sal Pace: The truth about Colorado". VTDigger. Retrieved 2020-08-27.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ Hillstrom, Zach. "Oregon congressman thrilled with Pueblo cannabis industry". The Pueblo Chieftain. Retrieved 2020-08-27.
  9. ^ Mitchell, Thomas (2018-10-27). "Sal Pace Is Just Fine With Being Pueblo County's "Cannabis" Commissioner". Westword. Retrieved 2020-10-23.
  10. ^ "Weed Wonks Episode 7 - Discussing the Cannabis Voter Project with Sal Pace". Vicente Sederberg LLP. 2020-01-13. Retrieved 2020-10-23.
  11. ^ Mestas, Anthony A. "Pueblo Commissioner Pace excited to join Polis team". The Pueblo Chieftain. Retrieved 2020-08-27.
  12. ^ Politics, Dan Njegomir, Colorado. "Q&A with Sal Pace — pol, Puebloan". Colorado Politics. Retrieved 2020-10-23.
  13. ^ ProPublica. "Dark Money Rises". ProPublica. Retrieved 2020-08-27.
  14. ^ "CO - Election Results - Colorado Secretary of State".
  15. ^ "State House 2012 Election Results - Denver Post".
  16. ^ "Denver Post - U.S. House 2012 Election Results".
  17. ^
  18. ^ Mestas, Anthony A. "Commissioner Pace wins Amtrak award; his efforts to save 'Chief' recognized". The Pueblo Chieftain. Retrieved 2020-10-23.
  19. ^ Ashby, Charles (10 January 2009). "Capitol Notes". Pueblo Chieftain. Retrieved 2009-02-05.

External links[edit]