AURORA | State Democratic Rep. Rhonda Fields said she was overwhelmed by the results Tuesday, June 28, as she easily secured the Democratic nomination for the state Senate District 29 race this November.
As of Wednesday morning, the Arapahoe County Clerk’s office listed Fields garnering 74.19 percent of 7,261 votes that have been counted so far. Her opponent, state Rep. Su Ryden, trailed behind with 25.81 percent of those votes.
“I have to acknowledge my son Javad,” said Fields, noting that it was a tragedy that propelled her on a political path.
Fields was the first African-American woman elected to serve House District 42 in 2010. She became active in state politics after becoming involved in victims rights and criminal justice issues after her son, Javad Marshall-Fields, and his fiancée, Vivian Wolfe, were gunned down in 2005 just days before Marshall-Fields could testify in another shooting.
“I feel like we accomplished something great. That was Team Rhonda for Senate. The people have spoken. It was because of a lot of love, support, hard work and dedication to get me to where we are today,” she said also acknowledging family, friends and volunteers who have worked on her campaign.
Fields said her greatest accomplishment this legislative session was passing a bill that will grant more time for justice to be served in sexual assault cases.
Last year she sponsored a bill that was signed into law criminalizing cyber bullying. Fields has also been an important part of controversial gun-control legislation passed in 2013 after the Aurora theater shooting and Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.
Ryden has served eastern Aurora’s House District 36 since 2008 and was term-limited. She said Buckley Air Force Base and protecting the base from encroachment along with ensuring the completion of the Fitzsimons veterans community living were priorities for her if elected to serve SD 29.
Ryden said her biggest accomplishment this legislative session was passing a bill that will direct the Colorado Department of Human Services to complete the veterans home at Fitzsimons by providing space for homeless, low-income and disabled veterans and their families. Today, the 180-bed facility provides nursing care and a specialized 21-bed, short-term rehabilitation unit.
“I’m looking forward to making sure those projects get done,” Ryden said. “I’m really proud of my campaign team and all the hard work they put in knocking on doors and talking to thousands of people, helping me in so many different ways.”
Fields and Ryden campaigned until the last minute, in hopes of winning a shot at the seat held by Morgan Carroll, who is term-limited and running for Congress.
Maisha Fields-Pollard, Rhonda Fields’ daughter, said her mother was still walking door-to-door telling people to vote only three hours before Arapahoe County polls closed.
Fields held a watch party at the New Aurora Hyatt Regency hotel across from the Anschutz Medical Campus from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m.
Ryden said she was also canvassing for last-minute votes, and that she was holding a watch party at her Aurora home.