Tracy Kraft-Tharp, District 1
Tracy Kraft-Tharp is a resident of Arvada and former state legislator. She was elected to her first four-year term in November of 2020.
She began her career as a middle school teacher, but soon moved on to become a youth counselor in a juvenile detention center and later as a social worker, working with at-risk children and their families. She worked as a social worker at the Tenneyson Center for Children with at-risk children and families in need; served as Director of Adolescent Services, Gemini House; and, Director of Battered Women Services, Women in Crisis with Family Tree.
For 15 years, she had her own small business working with small businesses and nonprofits. She helped build capacity through mentoring executive directors, developing policy and boards. Additionally, she served as a project manager for several innovative federally funded projects and has worked as a lobbyist at the state capitol representing two mental health organizations.
She has taught at Metro State and Regis University, and has volunteered on multiple board of directors for local and national nonprofit organizations, volunteered with organizations such as Energy Outreach Colorado, and served as an active member of the Colorado Business and Professional Women and the League of Women Voters.
She was appointed to serve on the Jefferson County School District Strategic Planning and Advisory Council, the City of Arvada Citizen’s Capital Improvement Committee, and the City of Arvada Human Resources Council. She has also served on the Jefferson County PTA, the Arvada Chamber Government Affairs committee, the Westminster Chamber Government Affairs committee, and the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Council.
Mostly recently, she served four terms (2013-2020) representing the citizens of House District 29, Arvada and Westminster, in the Colorado House of Representatives. Her legislative priorities included economic and workforce development and to increase access to mental health services. While there, she served as/on:
- Chair of the Business Affairs and Labor Committee;
- member of the Appropriations Committee; Transportation and Energy Committee; and, Juvenile Prevention Council;
- member and past Chair of both the Legislative Audit Committee and the Sales and Use Tax Simplification Task Force;
- Governor Hickenloopers’ Blockchain Council; and
- Governor Polis’ Behavioral Healthcare Task Force and the NCSL Sales Tax Legislative Task Force.
Commissioner Kraft-Tharp graduated from Moorhead State University in Moorhead, Minnesota with a degree in Psychology, Sociology and Education. She graduated from University of Denver with a Masters in Social Work and Juris Docterate (JD). She has been married to her husband, Vern Tharp, for 27 years. They enjoy travel, golfing, pickle ball and more golfing.