Monday, January 10, 2011

New Lt. Gov. Garcia to wear 2 hats in gov't, head Department of Higher Ed

Lieutenant governor-elect Joe Garcia is going to be a little bit busier than most of his predecessors. He'll have two jobs in the Hickenlooper administration.

Garcia, who has served as a college president, will lead the Colorado Department of Higher Education.

Ordinarily that cabinet position is filled by someone who is not the elected number two in the administration. But Gov.-elect John Hickenlooper has apparently concluded that Garcia's experience as an educator is impossible to overlook.

“Joe Garcia is in a unique position to wear two hats in state government,” Hickenlooper said. “He is a known leader with tremendous expertise in education. He also understands the challenges facing higher education because he’s led a community college and a university. Allowing Garcia to serve in two roles will save money and serve the taxpayers of Colorado without compromising the work of the Lieutenant Governor’s Office or the Department of Higher Education."

Although Garcia does not have be confirmed by the state senate to serve as lieutenant governor, his appointment as director of CDHE is subject to that body's consent.

Garcia will be inaugurated as lieutenant governor tomorrow.