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Birthdate: Dec. 14, 1976
Birth Place: New London, CT, United States
Residence: Pueblo, CO
Sal Pace was born in New London, Conn., and now lives in Pueblo, Colo. The youngest of nine children, Pace grew up helping at his mother's toy store and his father's repair shop. He earned a bachelor's from Fort Lewis College and a master's from Louisiana State University.
Pace worked for U.S. Rep. John Salazar as director of district offices, managing water, education, and transportation issues. He was elected to a state House seat in 2008, and was tapped to be the Democrats' leader in the chamber in 2011.
Pace and his wife, Marlene, have three children.
During his second term in the Colorado Legislature, Sal Pace launched a bid to challenge incumbent Republican Rep. Scott Tipton in rural Colorado's 3rd Congressional District.
As a representative for Pueblo, Pace focused much of his legislation on issues affecting his district, such as easing inheritance taxes on rural landowners. He's been a frequent sponsor of a resolution asking North Korea to return the USS Pueblo, a Navy intelligence ship seized in 1968 on international waters. The crew was released after 11 months but North Korea still has the ship and uses it as a tourist attraction.
Pace also passed legislation to limit how much state-chartered entities spend on travel. He sponsored legislation to address flooding and water quality in the Pueblo area, and a bill to extend unemployment benefits and training programs using federal stimulus money.
During his tenure, Democrats were in the minority in the House and Pace served as his party's leader in the chamber for one year. Before the start of his last year in the Legislature, Pace resigned his leadership position, saying that Democrats need "a minority leader whose top priority is serving as minority leader." Although not in leadership anymore, he served out the last year of his term.
Pace has shown to be a strong fundraiser. Since announcing his congressional run in May 2011, he has raised enough money to mount a serious challenge against Tipton, who is considered one of the weakest Republican fundraisers in the House.
During one quarter, Pace raised $206,500, about $30,000 more than what Tipton raised.
The rural, sprawling 3rd District covers southern and western Colorado and it's considered a toss-up. Its voting profile is divided almost evenly among Democrats, Republicans and independent voters, making it an attractive target for both parties.
Congressional redistricting did not change the district much. But political observers say it became slightly more favorable to Democrats, although Republicans still outnumber Democrats.
Source: Associated Press
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