Ron Tupa with his family in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Ron's Story

A former public school teacher and state legislator from Boulder County, Ron Tupa is a political reformer - but his 14-year legislative record proves that he is tested and ready to serve.

Like millions of other Coloradans, I wasn’t born here. I’m a native Midwesterner - born in Michigan. My father was in the U.S. Coast Guard, and our family moved to a new state every three years when he was transferred to a new station. But after living in the states of Mississippi, New York, and Michigan, I finished high school in Corpus Christi, Texas. I did well enough academically to be admitted into the University of Texas at Austin, the first of my family to go to college.

Ron Tupa with his hair dyed purple to support Mapleton Public School District.
I spent 15 years teaching high school students in our community. I care about giving every student a quality education.

After graduating from Texas, I moved here in 1990 to be the Canvass Director for the CO Public Interest Research Group (COPIRG). Within a year, I was back in school at the University of Colorado (Boulder), following my passion to teach high school social studies. While at CU, I joined my first of several unions - Teamsters Local 17 - loading freight trucks at night to pay my way through school in the day.

After earning my teaching certificate, I landed my first teaching position in 1996 right here in CD-7 at Evergreen High School! I would eventually teach on and off for 15 years, splitting time in the classroom in the fall when the Legislature was in session each spring, or year-round like my recent position in the Mapleton Public School District.

My political career started with leadership roles with the CU College Democrats and the state chapter of Young Democrats. From there I was appointed to fill a vacancy representing Boulder in the Colorado House of Representatives. After six years in the House I moved up to the State Senate and served there for another eight years before being term-limited out of office at the age of 42. However, during my 14-year legislative career I sponsored over 200 pieces of legislation and passed nearly 100 into law – a respectable 50% passage rate, considering I was a member of the minority party for eight of those 14 years.

Ron Tupa in a shirt reading 'The Governor vetoed my bill and all I got was this lousy t-shirt!'
I spent 14 years in the Colorado state legislature where I saw how the two-party system is ruining our politics. Learn more about my work on political reform.

Outside of the Legislature, I’ve worked as a consultant to candidates and issue campaigns, and for education and political reform nonprofits. I also went back to graduate school to earn a Master’s degree, created an online civic engagement tool, and renewed my teaching career. Over the years I’ve worked on several pro-education and good government campaigns that benefit our state - from increasing money for K-12 schools, to reforming our campaign finance and Electoral College systems, to passing measures prohibiting political gerrymandering.

Most importantly, I’m a proud dad of two teenagers on track to graduate over the course of this campaign. After being divorced for many years, I also met an extraordinary woman who lives in Arvada to write the next chapter of my life with.

For Change

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