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  Peña, Federico
NameFederico Peña
Denver, Colorado , United States
Born March 15, 1947 (74 years)
Contributor411 Name Removed
Last ModifedJuan Croniqueur
Dec 03, 2015 12:03pm
Tags Hispanic -
InfoThe son of a cotton broker, Federico Peña moved with his family to Brownsville, Texas, where he grew up. Federico graduated from the University of Texas Law School and served briefly as a legal aid lawyer in El Paso and, after 1973, in Denver. The bright, young attorney with the ponytail worked in private practice and as an attorney for the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund. In 1979, he won election to the Colorado House of Representatives, where he became leader of the minority Democrats. In 1983, he upset incumbent William H. McNichols, Jr. and other political veterans to become Denver’s first Spanish-surnamed mayor.

Federico Peña proved to be one of Denver’s most ambitious, energetic and able mayors. He worked to give Denver a new airport, a major league baseball team, a grand new central library, a new convention center and restored many parks, parkways and public buildings, resurrecting the City Beautiful-era dreams of Mayor Robert W. Speer.

Peña set aside one percent of the cost of all municipal building projects (over $1 million) for art. He championed historic preservation, helping to give Denver more than 33 historic districts and some 350 individually designated landmarks. Although easily winning a second term, Peña declined to run a third time in 1992. In 1993, President William J. Clinton selected him as Secretary of Transportation. In 1998, Peña returned to private business and a private life in the city he had greatly bettered.



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Date Category Headline Article Contributor

Importance? 10.00000 Average


  03/12/1997 US Secretary of Energy Won 99.00% (+98.00%)
  01/21/1993 US Secretary of Transportation Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  06/16/1987 Denver Mayor - Runoff Won 50.97% (+1.94%)
  05/19/1987 Denver Mayor Won 37.27% (+0.00%)
  06/21/1983 Denver Mayor - Runoff Won 51.44% (+2.87%)
  05/17/1983 Denver Mayor Won 36.28% (+5.40%)
  11/04/1980 CO State House 05 Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  11/07/1978 CO State House 05 Won 78.51% (+57.01%)
  09/12/1978 CO State House 05 - D Primary Won 75.30% (+50.60%)
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CO US President - D Primary - Mar 03, 2020 D Joe Biden
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NM District 01 - D Primary - Jun 05, 2012 D Martin Chavez
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CO US President - D Caucus - Feb 05, 2008 D Barack Obama