Tracy Kraft-Tharp was elected in 2012 to represent House District 29, the northeastern corner of Jefferson County, including northern and eastern Arvada and the Jeffco part of Westminster. She is vice chairwoman of the Business, Labor, Economic & Workforce Development Committee and sits on the Transportation & Energy Committee.
In her first legislative session in 2013, Rep. Kraft-Tharp focused on the jobs and the economy. She sponsored the Advanced Industries Export Acceleration Act, which makes advice and training available to Colorado companies trying to find global markets for their products, and a bill to promote aircraft manufacturing in Colorado.
She also worked on bolstering the state’s mental health system, successfully sponsoring bills to create a coordinated, statewide behavioral health crisis response system and to study ways to improve the state’s civil commitment statutes.
With more than 25 years’ experience in the private, public and nonprofit sectors, Rep. Kraft-Tharp has dedicated her life to serving the people in our community who need help the most.
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 was a social worker, working with at-risk children and their families. She went on to manage the Women in Crisis battered women’s shelter and the Gemini House, an adolescent crisis shelter in Jefferson County.
Rep. Kraft-Tharp owns a small consulting business working with nonprofit organizations to improve their strategic planning, budgeting and management.
In addition, Rep. Kraft-Tharp taught applied legal issues and social welfare policy in Metro State’s social work department and at Regis University in the masters program in nonprofit management.
She has served on the Jefferson County School District Strategic Planning and Advisory Council, the City of Arvada Citizens Capital Improvement Project Committee, the City of Arvada Human Services Council and the grant review committee for Energy Colorado. In addition, she has served on the boards of the Urban Peak Housing Corporation, Jefferson Hall and the National Network for Youth Services. She is an active member of the Colorado Business and Professional Women and the League of Women Voters.
She received her master’s in social work and a law degree from the University of Denver.
Rep. Kraft-Tharp and her husband, Vern Tharp, live in Arvada.