DENVER — Colorado Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia will step down, Gov. John Hickenlooper’s office announced Tuesday.
Garcia has accepted a position as president of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, the governor’s office said in a news release.
Garcia plans to join the WICHE sometime before July 1.
“I want to thank Gov. Hickenlooper and the State of Colorado for the incredible opportunity to work on important policy issues for the last five years,” Garcia in the news release. “This was a difficult decision but education has always been my passion. I look forward to carrying the message of opportunity, college completion and workforce development throughout the West.”
“Joe will be nearly impossible to replace,” Hickenlooper said. “He has been an exceptional lieutenant governor and in leading education efforts for Colorado. He has given five years selflessly to the success of this state and the future education of our children. We are grateful and wish him continued success.”
.@LtGovGarcia is the greatest Lt. Gov. anyone could ask for. We wish you luck in your new higher ed role. You will be missed.
— John Hickenlooper (@Hickenlooper) November 10, 2015
Hickenlooper tabbed Garcia, then the president of Colorado State University Pueblo, to be his running mate when he ran for governor in 2010. Garcia also has been president of Pikes Peak Community College and was the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development secretary’s representative for the Rocky Mountain States.