About John

Senator Kefalas


Senator John Kefalas serves the people of Senate District 14, which spans Fort Collins. John served first as a State Representative from 2007-2012, and is now serving his second 4-year term as a State Senator. John is a member of the following legislative committees of reference: Local Government; Business, Labor and Technology; Health and Human Services. John also serves on the Capital Development Committee, the Health Insurance Exchange Oversight Committee and the Behavioral Health Transformation Council.

A Dedicated Citizen Legislator

From 2009 – 2014, John led the Economic Opportunity Poverty Reduction Task Force. He served on the Flood Disaster Recovery Committee in 2013, and the Early Childhood and School Readiness Legislative Commission in 2014.

John teaches public policy graduate courses at Colorado State University as a part-time adjunct faculty member in the School of Social Work. A dedicated citizen legislator, John strongly believes in creating opportunities for meaningful civic engagement and deliberative democracy. He has conducted about 200 town hall meetings, issues forums and community conversations since being first elected to public office.

Throughout his career, both inside and outside the Colorado Legislature, John has championed bringing people together to find common ground and develop common sense, non-partisan solutions to help middle-class and lower-income working Coloradans. John supports building an economy that works for all of us, serving people with a focus on shared prosperity.

John has passed laws to help create jobs, expand economic opportunities, reduce poverty, lower taxes for working Coloradans and small businesses, protect consumers, seniors and children, advance the dignity of people with disabilities, encourage renewable energy and energy efficiency, promote quality child care and education, and lower costs while increasing value in our health care systems.

Highlights of John’s legislative achievements

  • Restoring the Colorado Earned Income Tax Credit to assist 350,000 working families;
  • Creating the Advanced Industries Tax Credit to help Colorado start-up companies succeed;
  • Modernizing the Colorado Open Records Act to make state and local government more transparent;
  • Helping people with disabilities access jobs, savings programs and health services;
  • Making it easier for disabled veterans to qualify for property tax exemptions;
  • Promoting telemedicine and other health care innovations;
  • Reducing obstacles to disaster relief and rebuilding after the 2013 flood;
  • Requiring insurance policies to be written in plain language that consumers can understand;
  • Passing laws to fight human trafficking.
  • Complete list of John’s legislative efforts for the middle class and working families. (pdf 241kb) 

Legislative Awards & Recognitions

Many community organizations have recognized John as an outstanding legislator and champion for the common people.

  • Champion for Economic Justice, Colorado Center on Law and Policy (2014)
  • Colorado Women’s Lobby, 100% Legislative Score (2016)
  • Legislative Advocate of the Year, Colorado Consumer Health Initiative (2015)
  • Legislative Recognition Award, Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Larimer County (2015)
  • Legislator of the Year, Colorado Association of People Supporting Employment First (2016)
  • Legislator of the Year, Colorado Nonprofit Association (2016)
  • Legislator of the Year, Mental Health Colorado (2016)
  • Special Recognition Award-Service to Colorado’s Seniors, Colorado Senior Lobby (2016)

Hard-Working and Honest

First elected to the Statehouse in 2006, John quickly proved himself a hard-working, honest and accessible representative. In 2008, he received a record number of votes in House District 52, becoming the first Democrat re-elected in HD52 in over 50 years. John won his third term in office in 2010, with 57% of the vote. In 2012, John was elected by a wide margin of 58% to 36% (with the remainder of the vote going to minor party candidates). In his 2016 re-election campaign, John won 62% of the vote.

Peace Corps Volunteer

A returned Peace Corps volunteer, John is also a former school teacher in Poudre School District, health outreach worker, job-training counselor with Larimer County, self-sufficiency advisor, community organizer and public policy advocate. A 1978 graduate of Colorado State University (CSU), John earned a Master of Arts degree in Teaching from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. John has served on numerous community boards, and has been involved in local, national and international peace, justice and environmental work for over 40 years.

Family Life

John has been married for 36 years to Beth, who retired from Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fort Collins after 18 years of service as the Music and Worship Assistant. John and Beth have two wonderful sons and four amazing, beautiful and brilliant grandchildren. Their younger son Tim graduated from CSU in 2008, and lives and works in Fort Collins with his wife Shayna. They recently were blessed with a baby girl, Mila. Tim coaches the CSU Ultimate Team. Their older son Harlan and his wife Tracey have three children, Lillie, Barbara and John. Harlan has served in the US Army for 18 years, in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan. Harlan is currently a Sergeant First Class, stationed at Fort Meade, MD.

Donate to Campaign