With over 25 years of experience in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, Tracy Kraft-Tharp has dedicated her life to serving the people in our community that need help the most. Whether running her own small business or through her experience in social work, nonprofit management, teaching, and legislative advocacy, Tracy’s experience, passion for service, and commitment to community make her the right person to represent the people of House District 29 in the Colorado House of Representatives.
Growing up in a large Minnesota construction family, Tracy learned the value of hard work and experienced firsthand the struggles of America’s working class families. Her parents worked hard to make sure she had access to a good education and college opportunity, giving Tracy a passion for giving back.
Tracy has lived in Colorado for decades, and she has been happily married to her husband Vern for 18 years. She began her career as a middle school teacher, but soon moved on to become a youth counselor in a juvenile detention center and a social worker, working with at-risk children and their families. These experiences solidified Tracy’s determination to work with individual families, go on to manage a Colorado organization with a staff of forty and million dollar budget, earn a law degree, and eventually work as an issues advocate at the State Legislature.
This experience managing a large organization with a limited budget gave Tracy the skills to build her own small business dedicated to working with nonprofit organizations to improve their strategic planning, budgeting, and management.
Tracy has also taught at Metro State and Regis University, and has been involved as a volunteer by serving on the board of directors of local and national nonprofit organizations, volunteering with organizations such as Energy Outreach Colorado, and serving as an active member of the Colorado Business and Professional Women and the League of Women Voters. As her reputation as a community leader grew, Tracy 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 Services Council.
Tracy met her husband, Vern Tharp, at a political rally, and although they had different political views, they have built a solid marriage of almost 18 years with deep roots in the community. Vern is an entrepreneur and businessman with a focus on distressed companies and real estate transactions.
As both a business owner and legislative advocate, Tracy Kraft-Tharp has witnessed the challenges that families, small businesses and community organizations face during difficult times. Tracy’s firsthand experience bringing legislators on both sides of the aisle together to change policy in the mental health field has given Tracy the critical experience our community needs in our state representative.
Tracy’s business common sense, her passion for public service, and her experience getting results on the complex issues facing Colorado families are the skills we need in the State House.
As the state Representative for House District 29 (Arvada and Westminster), Tracy serves as the Vice-Chair of the Business, Labor & Economic and Workforce Development committee and is a member of the Transportation and Energy Committee. Her main legislative priorities are to encourage economic development and enhance public health services.