Mark Ferrandino

Mark Steven Ferrandino (born August 9, 1977) is a former legislator in the U.S. state of Colorado and former Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives. Appointed to the legislature in 2007, Ferrandino represented House District 2, encompassing south central Denver from 2012 to 2014.[6] He is the first openly gay male legislator in Colorado history. He did not seek re-election in 2014, and was the chief financial officer of Denver Public Schools.[7][8] On November 19, 2020, Colorado Governor Jared Polis named Mark Ferrandino as the new executive director for the Colorado Department of Revenue.[9] [10]

Mark Ferrandino
57th Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives
In office
January 9, 2013 – January 7, 2015
Preceded byFrank McNulty
Succeeded byDickey Lee Hullinghorst
Minority Leader of the Colorado House of Representatives
In office
January 12, 2011 – January 9, 2013
Succeeded byBrian DelGrosso
Member of the Colorado House of Representatives
from the 2nd district
In office
October 1, 2007[1] – January 7, 2015
Preceded byMike Cerbo
Succeeded byAlec Garnett
Personal details
Born (1977-08-09) August 9, 1977 (age 43)[2][3]
Nyack, New York[4]
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Gregory Wertsch[5]
ResidenceDenver, Colorado
OccupationFiscal Analyst, politician
WebsiteRepresentative Mark Ferrandino


Ferrandino, the son of two Italian-American public school teachers,[11] was born in Nyack, New York.[4] He was born with oxygen deprivation and had to have surgery because he was cross eyed.[12] Suffering from multiple learning difficulties, he took special education classes until the fourth grade. He later joined mainstream classes, played the trumpet and captained his high school track team.[12] Ferrandino graduated from Clarkstown High School South in 1995[13] and earned a bachelor's degree in political science and economics in 1999 and a master's degree in public policy analysis in 2000 both from the University of Rochester. While in school, Ferrandino was a collegiate pole vaulter.[4]

He began his political career in 1997,[11] spending a semester as intern for Congressman Chuck Schumer of New York.[4] After working for several years in Washington, DC as a program analyst for the United States Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, and as a policy analyst for the White House Office of Management and Budget,[4] Ferrandino relocated to Colorado when his partner, Gregory, took a job with the U.S. Customs Service.[14] He now lives in the Baker neighborhood of Denver and is a member of the Baker Historic Neighborhood Association.[4] Ferrandino has played the trumpet since the fourth grade and continues to play regularly.[15]

Ferrandino worked as a senior budget analyst in the Colorado Department of Health Care and Financing from 2005 until his legislative appointment in 2007. He was also active in Democratic Party politics as treasurer of the Colorado Democratic Party[4][11] and co-captain for Colorado House District 2A. Ferrandino was named Colorado Young Democrat of the Year in 2007.[4] He is also a former co-chairman of the Colorado Stonewall Democrats,[14] and served on the board of directors for the National Stonewall Democrats.[11]

Ferrandino is a twin, and younger brother. His twin Nicole is a business analyst for the University of Colorado Denver and his older brother Micheal is a surgeon at Duke Medical Center in North Carolina. He has two nieces and nephews, Abbey and Owen who live in CO, as well as Hayden and John in NC. He has an adopted daughter with his spouse Gregory Wertsch and they live in the Baker community of Denver.

Legislative careerEdit

2007 legislative appointmentEdit

In September 2007, Rep. Mike Cerbo resigned from the legislature in order to become director of the Colorado AFL-CIO. Ferrandino was elected to Cerbo's seat in the Colorado House of Representatives in September 2007 by the 2nd District Vacancy Committee on a vote of 23–3.[14] Both Ferrandino and his opponent in the vacancy election, Doug Williams,[16] were openly gay; Ferrandino became the first openly gay man to serve in the Colorado General Assembly. He served as one of four openly LGBT members of the legislature, alongside Sens. Pat Steadman (D–Denver) and Lucía Guzmán (D–Denver), as well as Rep. Sue Schafer (D–Wheat Ridge).

Ferrandino was sworn into the legislature on October 1, 2007,[17] and was elected to a full term in November 2008. Assuming he is re-elected at two-year intervals, term limits will prevent him seeking a fifth House term in 2014, despite the fact that he would not have served four full terms.

Ferrandino has declared his legislative priorities to include health care, consumer protection, and TABOR reform.[15]

2008 legislative sessionEdit

For his first legislative session, in 2008, Ferrandino was named to the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee and the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee.[18] Ferrandino has named health care and education as his top legislative priorities.[11][17]

For the 2008 legislative session, Ferrandino is exploring regulation requiring greater transparency and guaranteed lifetimes for gift cards,[19] and plans to sponsor a bill to direct funds from fines collected from scammers to educate the public about consumer scams.[20] Ferrandino has also sponsored a bill to allow some lesser criminal convictions to be sealed from public inspection.[21]

He has also proposed, with Rep. Sara Gagliardi, the "American Dream Protection Act of 2008," which would allow judges to delay home foreclosures by 90 days, in response to the ongoing subprime mortgage crisis.[22][23] The bill was amended in the legislature to only increase public outreach efforts and notification requirements before passing the state house.[24]

He has also introduced the Colorado Payday Lending Reform Act, which would cap interest rates for payday lending at 36 percent[25] and prohibit additional lending to borrowers already in debt, making Colorado's short-term lending regulation the strictest in the nation.[26] The bill narrowly passed the state house on a vote of 33-30,[27] and passed the state senate on 19-16 after being significantly amended. Ferrandino objected to senate amendments, claiming that they weakened the bill by loosening caps on lending fees.[28] Several weeks later, Ferrandino and Senate cosponsor Peter Groff announced that they intended to kill the bill,[29] but Ferrandino plans on re-introducing the bill during the 2009 session.[30]

2008 electionEdit

Ferrandino stood for election to a full term in 2008. In the Democratic Party primary, he faced former Eagle County commissioner James Johnson.[31] Ferrandino easily won the Democratic nomination with over 81 percent of the vote,[32] and faced Republican Thomas "Doc" Miller in the general election, winning handily.[33][34] Ferrandino's re-election bid was endorsed by the Denver Post,[35] and he easily won a full term in the legislature with 80 percent of the popular vote.[36]

Ferrandino was also a member of the Democratic Party's platform committee for the 2008 Democratic National Convention, one of only three Colorado delegates to that committee.[37]

2009 legislative sessionEdit

After winning re-election, Ferrandino was named to a post on the legislature's six-member Joint Budget Committee for the 2009 legislative session,[38] and was tapped as vice-chair of the House Appropriations Committee.[39] He remained on the Joint Budget Committee until his election as Democratic Leader in November 2011.

With Sen. Jennifer Veiga, Ferrandino introduced legislation to allow same-sex partners of state employees to receive health insurance benefits.[40]

2010 legislative sessionEdit

2010 electionEdit

2011 legislative sessionEdit

In 2011, Ferrandino co-sponsored the Colorado Civil Unions Act, introducing it in the House. State Senator Pat Steadman originally introduced it in the Senate, where it passed with bipartisan support. The Colorado Civil Unions Act was an act to create legal recognition for same-sex and heterosexual couples in Colorado law. The act was killed in the Colorado House Judiciary Committee before it was able to reach a full House vote, where Ferrandino held it would have had the votes to pass.[41]

See: Recognition of Same-Sex Unions in Colorado: The Colorado Civil Unions Act of 2011

In November 2011, House Democratic Leader Sal Pace announced that he would relinquish his leadership position to campaign for Congress in the 3rd district. Ferrandino ran to succeed him and was elected unopposed by the Democratic caucus on November 18, 2011.[42]

2012 legislative sessionEdit

2012 electionEdit

In the 2012 General Election, Representative Ferrandino faced Republican challenger TJ Tyrrell. Ferrandino was reelected by a margin of 70% to 24%.[43][44] As the longtime Minority Leader, Ferrandino was elected by his caucus as the Speaker of the House of the State of Colorado.[45]


  1. ^ "House Journal - January 9, 2008" (pdf). Colorado General Assembly. Retrieved 2008-01-10. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Project Vote Smart: Rep. Mark Ferrandino". Retrieved 2008-10-15. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Project Vote Smart lists his birthday as September 9. Ferrandino's Twitter posts suggest August 9:
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "About Mark". Mark Ferrandino - HD2 - Colorado. Archived from the original on 2008-06-12. Retrieved 2007-12-24. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "Representative Mark Ferrandino". Colorado General Assembly. Archived from the original (pdf) on 2011-05-29. Retrieved 2008-02-23. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "State House District 2". COMaps. Archived from the original on 2008-03-04. Retrieved 2007-12-13. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b c d e Brown, Jennifer (20 September 2007). "Cerbo's replacement named". Denver Post. Archived from the original on 21 January 2013. Retrieved 2007-12-13. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ a b Hoover, Tim (November 24, 2011). "Mark Ferrandino, new Colorado House minority leader, overcame challenging childhood". The Denver Post.
  13. ^ "1996 results" (PDF). Retrieved January 9, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ a b c Barge, Chris (21 September 2007). "Successor to Cerbo selected". Rocky Mountain News. Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 2007-12-13. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^ a b Bartels, Lynn (20 March 2008). "Citizen Legislator, March 20". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2008-05-01. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ "Stonewall Democrat Elected in Colorado" (Press release). National Stonewall Democrats. 20 September 2007. Archived from the original on 9 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-23. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^ a b Rebresh, Kerri (15 October 2007). "Newest Lawmaker Talks About Agenda". Colorado Confidential. Archived from the original on 19 February 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2008. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  18. ^ "House Speaker Announces New Committee Assignments for 2008 Legislative Session" (Press release). Colorado House Democrats. 6 January 2008. Archived from the original on 2010-05-11. Retrieved 2008-02-23. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  19. ^ Schrager, Adam (11 December 2007). "Got an expired gift card? It may still be worth cash". 9News.Com. Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 2007-12-13. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  20. ^ Migoya, David (13 December 2007). "Agency seeks funds to keep consumers aware". Denver Post. Retrieved 2007-12-13. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  21. ^ Davidson, Michael (13 February 2008). "Panel OKs sealing of records". Colorado Springs Gazette. Archived from the original on 12 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-23. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  22. ^ Fender, Jessica (14 April 2008). "Bill assists struggling homeowners". Denver Post. Retrieved 2008-04-14. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  23. ^ Allen, Jaclyn (13 April 2008). "Colorado Lawmakers Unveil Foreclosure Bill". TheDenverChannel.Com. Archived from the original on 15 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-14. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  24. ^ Gathright, Alan (30 April 2008). "House passes bill to help homeowners avoid the foreclosure crisis". Rocky Mountain News.
  25. ^ Staff Reports (7 February 2008). "Colorado lawmakers target payday lending". Denver Business Journal. Retrieved 2008-02-08. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)[dead link]
  26. ^ Brown, Jennifer (8 February 2008). "Lawmakers irate over payday rates". Denver Post. Retrieved 2008-02-14. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  27. ^ Sealover, Ed (25 February 2008). "Legislature: Monday at a glance". Colorado Springs Gazette. Archived from the original on 8 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-01. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  28. ^ Davidson, Michael (25 March 2008). "Changes may kill payday loan bill". Colorado Springs Gazette. Archived from the original on 27 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-28. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  29. ^ Milstead, David (22 April 2008). "Sponsors kill payday loan bill". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2008-04-22. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  30. ^ Davidson, Michael (22 April 2008). "Payday loan bill done till '09". Colorado Springs Gazette. Archived from the original on 27 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-25. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  31. ^ Staff reports (8 August 2008). "Elections 2008: A look at other House races". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2008-08-10. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  32. ^ "Colorado Statewide Cumulative Report - 2008 Primary Election". Colorado Secretary of State. Retrieved 2008-11-08. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)[permanent dead link]
  33. ^ Sealover, Ed (13 August 2008). "Legislative race roundup". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2008-08-13. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  34. ^ Sanchez, Christopher (13 August 2008). "Dems' race in Jeffco goes down to wire". Denver Post. Retrieved 2008-08-13. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  35. ^ Editorial Board (17 October 2008). "Post's picks in Colorado's House of Representatives". Denver Post. Retrieved 2008-11-01. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  36. ^ "Colorado Statewide Cumulative Report - 2008 General Election". Colorado Secretary of State. Retrieved 2008-12-04. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)[permanent dead link]
  37. ^ Morson, Berny (25 August 2008). "No minced words on Democrats' platform". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2008-10-13. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  38. ^ Bragg, Chris (14 November 2008). "Buescher's fall pushes Carroll, Weissmann into leadership posts". Colorado Statesman. Archived from the original on 12 June 2009. Retrieved 2008-11-16. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  39. ^ "House Democrats Unveil 2009 Committee Chairs & Assignments" (Press release). Colorado House Democrats. 18 November 2008. Archived from the original on 3 January 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  40. ^ Sealover, Ed (16 January 2009). "Partner coverage proposed". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2009-02-08. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  41. ^ Bartels, Lynn. "Democratic sponsors fear for fate of Colorado civil-unions bill Read more: Democratic sponsors fear for fate of Colorado civil-unions bill - The Denver Post Read The Denver Post's Terms of Use of its content:". Denver Post. Retrieved 3 April 2011. External link in |title= (help)CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  42. ^ "Rep. Mark Ferrandino chosen as new Colo. House Democratic leader". KDVR. November 18, 2011.[permanent dead link]
  43. ^ "CO - Election Results - Colorado Secretary of State". Archived from the original on 2017-03-14. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  44. ^ "State House 2012 Election Results - Denver Post".
  45. ^ "The Denver Post - Colorado House Democrats pick Ferrandino for speaker, historic first for gays".

External linksEdit