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Revision as of 08:05, 11 July 2013

Brandon Shaffer
Colorado State Senate, District 17
Former Member
In office
2005 - 2013
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
Term limits8 years
Bachelor'sStanford University
J.D.University of Colorado, 2001
Office website
Personal website
Campaign website
The information about this individual is current as of when his or her last campaign ended. See anything that needs updating? Send a correction to our editors
Brandon Shaffer is a former Democratic member of the Colorado State Senate, representing District 17 from 2005 to 2013. He served as Senate Majority Leader and Senate President.

On February 14, 2013, Shaffer was appointed as vice chairman of the Colorado Parole Board by Gov. John Hickenlooper. His appointment must be confirmed by the state Senate.[1]

Shaffer studied Naval Science at the University of California-Berkeley. He earned his BA in Political Science from Stanford University in 1993. He went on to receive his JD from the University of Colorado in 2001.

Shaffer was an Intern for Governor Roy Romer. He has also worked as an Intern for the Commission on National and Community Service. He has worked as an attorney and also served in the United States Navy from 1993 to 1997. He then worked as an English Teacher for Yokosuka Young Men's Christian Association in Japan in 1997.

On July 4, 2011, Shaffer announced he would run for U.S. Representative from Colorado's 4th congressional district in the November 2012 general election. He lost to incumbent Cory Gardner on November 6, 2012.[2]

Committee assignments


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Shaffer served on these committees:


In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Shaffer served on these committees:


Shaffer's sponsored legislation includes:

  • SB 10-001 - Modifications to Public Employees' Retirement Association (PERA) Fund [3]

Campaign themes


Shaffer's campaign website listed the following issues:[4]

  • Jobs & Economy
Excerpt: "The economy must be our first priority. Too many Americans have been out of work for too long, waiting for Congress to act. Brandon will bring Colorado Solutions to Washington to rebuild the middle class and get the economy back on track."
  • Education
Excerpt: "Brandon’s mother taught in public schools for nearly 20 years, and his wife, Jessicca, teaches at their children’s elementary school in Longmont. Brandon believes that public education is the foundation of a brighter future for our kids and our country."
  • Budget
Excerpt: "Colorado Solutions means taking a balanced approach. Brandon helped to craft a balanced budget in Colorado every year since he was first elected in 2004. Brandon understands we must work together to fix our nation’s budget problems."



Shaffer announced on July 4, 2011, that he would run in the 2012 election for the U.S. House, representing Colorado's 4th District. He said he ran for the same reason he decided to make a bid for state senate in 2004: because the Colorado he returned after graduating from college at Stanford University was "a different place than the Colorado [he] grew up in."[5] He also suggested that legislators in Washington had "forgotten why they're out there... that is to work for us."[5] He ran unopposed in the June 26, 2012, Democratic primary. He faced incumbent Cory Gardner (R) and Doug Aden (Constitution Party) in the general election on November 6, 2012, and lost.[6][7]

U.S. House, Colorado District 4 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Brandon Shaffer 36.8% 125,715
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngCory Gardner Incumbent 58.4% 199,842
     Libertarian Josh Gilliland 3.1% 10,674
     Constitution Doug Aden 1.7% 5,845
Total Votes 342,076
Source: Colorado Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"


On November 4, 2008, Shaffer was elected to the 17th District Seat in the Colorado State Senate, defeating opponent Katie Witt (R).[8]

Shaffer raised $131,551 for his campaign, while Witt raised $28,587.[9]

Colorado State Senate, District 17 (2008)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Brandon Shaffer (D) 43,054
Katie Witt (R) 26,544

Campaign donors


Breakdown of the source of Shaffer's campaign funds before the 2012 election.

Shaffer did not win election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that election cycle, Shaffer's campaign committee raised a total of $905,776 and spent $895,693.[10]

2010 (Off-cycle)

Colorado State Senate 2010 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Brandon Shaffer's campaign in 2010
Colorado Professional Fire Fighters$4,000
Public Education Cmte$2,000
Colorado Education Association$1,000
Total Raised in 2010 $14,025


In 2008, Shaffer collected $131,551 in donations.[11]

His five largest contributors in 2008 were:

Donor Amount
Democratic Senate Campaign Committee Of New York $3,648
Colorado Association Of Realtors $4,250
Jefferson County Education Association $4,250
Food & Commercial Workers Local 7 $4,250
Colorado Education Association $4,250


Initiative rights

See also: Changes in 2009 to laws governing the initiative process

Shaffer co-sponsored legislation introduced in the Colorado House of Representatives on March 24 that would:


Shaffer and his wife, Jessica, have two children.

Recent news

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Political offices
Preceded by
Colorado State Senate - District 17
Succeeded by
Matt Jones (D)