About Federico Peña: Born in Laredo, Texas, Peña earned a B.A. (1969) and a J.D. (1972) from the University of Texas at Austin and The University of Texas School of Law. Moving to Colorado, where he became a practicing attorney, Peña was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1979, where he rose to become Minority Leader. In 1983, Peña defeated a 14-year incumbent, William H. McNichols, Jr. to become the first Hispanic Mayor of Denver, a post to which he was re-elected in 1987.
Peña advised Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton on transportation issues during Clinton's successful 1992 presidential campaign, and Clinton chose Peña to head the United States Department of Transportation. Although he had intended to leave Clinton's cabinet after a single term, Peña also served as Secretary of Energy for one year, from 1997 to 1998.
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