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February 13, 2008 8:25 AM

Rep. Karen Middleton, D-Aurora, sworn in. Fills seat vacated Mike Garcia

Rep. Karen Middleton, D-Aurora, was sworn in this morning to take the House District 42 seat left empty by former Rep. Mike Garcia’s resignation .

Friends, family and colleagues wooped, cheered and applauded after House Speaker Andrew Romanoff administered the oath for Middle, an Aurora businesswoman who is stepping down from the Colorado Board of Education to devote herself to the legislature.

Afterward the swearing-in, Middleton told education board members and education agency officials she'd miss working with them.

"But I'm on to a new adventure," she said.

"It's an honor to serve my friends and neighbors in Aurora," she added in a statement. "I am grateful for the opportunity to continue my public service in this new role."

Speaker Romanoff issued a statement saying: "I've known and worked with Karen for many years. She's a good friend and a strong leader -- especially for Colorado's kids."

Romanoff appointed Middleton to serve on the Education and State Affairs Committees.

Garcia, the former House Assistant Majority Leader, resigned abruptly Feb. 1 after a woman lobbyist accused him of sexual misconduct at a bar. --Alan Gathright

A Democratic Party vacancy committee voted 24-3 Sunday to have Middleton, a longtime Aurora businesswoman and community activist, fill the seat vacated when Garcia resigned after being accused of sexual misconduct by a woman lobbyist.

Middleton is scheduled to be sworn in at the Capitol Wednesday morning.

“I am grateful for the support of my friends and neighbors in this vacancy process,? Middleton said in a statement. She will resign her state education board post.
--Alan Gathright


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