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Denver City Councilman Rick Garcia accepts position as Obama's Rocky Mountain HUD chief

Fair and affordable housing initiatives are now on HUD Director Rick Garcia's plate
Fair and affordable housing initiatives are now on HUD Director Rick Garcia's plateAP photo/D Johnston

Rick Garcia has represented District 1 on the Denver City Council since 2003.  Thanks to an appointment by President Obama last Friday, Councilman Garcia will soon be assuming the duties of Regional Director of the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Rocky Mountain region. 

According to The Denver Business Journal, Garcia will oversee programs in the areas of affordable housing, housing discrimination, disabled access, veterans' housing and foreclosure mitigation. He will also act as liaison to mayors and local communities in the region which includes Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Montana and North and South Dakota.

In a statement also published by the Denver Business Journal, Garcia said,  "My understanding of western cultures, land use, transportation, housing and community economic development allows me to hit the ground running and lead the Rocky Mountain region in achieving HUD's national objectives".

Mr. Garcia was recommended for the job by Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennett.  Although no firm date has been set for Mr. Garcia's resignation from the Denver City Council, he is expected to assume his new position soon. A special election will be held to fill his council seat within 60 days.

The Denver Post reported Monday that Democratic State Senator Paula Sandoval intends to run for the vacancy left by Garcia. Senator Sandoval is, incidentally, term-limited in 2010.  So far, no other candidates have announced a desire to compete for Garcia's seat on the council.

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