Professional Experience

Business Experience: 1976 – Present  I am involved with my husband in several real estate partnerships. Our main holdings are rental apartment buildings and commercial properties. I am the managing partner of the real estate property management company.

Pueblo City Council: 02/07 – 12/11  I was appointed and then elected to Pueblo City Council.  During my tenure, I have been involved deeply in the yearly budget preparation.  In 2009, I was chosen by my colleagues to be Council President.

Board of Water Works; Pueblo, Colorado: 01/96 – 02/07  Elected twice for six-year terms by the citizens of Pueblo to a five-member board. The main focus is to protect the water, especially when it deals with quality, water rights, yearly budget, assets and investments

Southeastern Colorado Conservancy District Board: 04/04 – Present  Appointed as the Pueblo County representative for a four-year term on this fifteen-member board that oversees the administration and development of the Fryingpan-Arkansas River Project.

Office of Economic Development and International Trade: 01/99 – 03/04  Appointed by Governor Owens to oversee business and economic development for Pueblo and Southern Colorado.  The main responsibility is attracting, expanding and retaining jobs for the fifteen counties in Southern Colorado.

  • “Former Sen. Mike Kopp has chosen former Pueblo city councilwoman Vera Ortegon, a Colombia-born microbiologist, as his running mate.”

    The Denver Post

    "Mike Kopp taps former Pueblo councilwoman as his running mate"
  • “I’m ready to unleash the Colombian hurricane,” Kopp said as he introduced Ortegon, referring to her energy.”

    The Denver Post

    "Mike Kopp taps former Pueblo councilwoman as his running mate"
  • “This is unbelievable, really unbelievable,” Ortegon said, when she was introduced. “I stand tall and proud.”

    The Denver Post

    "Mike Kopp taps former Pueblo councilwoman as his running mate"

More About Me

  • Born and raised in Colombia, South America.
  • Legally Immigrated to United States.  Naturalized in 1976.
  • Obtained a degree in Microbiology and Biochemistry from Rutgers University.
  • Married for thirty-nine years to Dr. Anthony Ortegon, a local physician.
  • They have two sons, Anthony and Arthur, two daughters-in-law, Courtney and McKinsie, and have two grandchildren, Bennett and Olive.

Community Involvement

As a resident of Pueblo for the last 35 years, Ms. Ortegon has been an active community supporter and local business owner.  She is, or has been, involved in numerous boards, such as the following:

  • Action 22,
  • Economic Council of Colorado,
  • Frequent guest at the Colorado State of Mind television show,
  • Planning and Zoning Commission, Pueblo, CO
  • Southern Colorado Community Foundation,
  • Citizens Advisory Committee to the Pueblo Chemical Depot,
  • Women Economic Council of Colorado,
  • St. John Neumann Catholic School, Pueblo, CO
  • Historic Arkansas River Project (HARP) Authority, Pueblo, CO
  • Welfare Director Screening Committee,
  • Children’s Museum – Education Committee,
  • Rocky Mountain Center for Healthcare Ethics,
  • Fountain Valley School, Colorado Springs, CO
  • The 2010 Commission – Economic Development Committee.

Highlights in Politics & Business

In 2014, Mike Kopp, GOP CO gubernatorial candidate, chose her as his Lieutenant Governor candidate.

In 2012, she was one of the nine GOP Presidential Electors for the State of Colorado.

From 2004 – 2012, appointed by the Chief Water Judge, she served the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District; being the first woman to ever serve on this board.  She is the current Chair of the Resource & Engineering Planning Committee. 

In 2007, she was appointed to the Pueblo City Council to fill a vacancy.  She was elected to the Pueblo City Council for a four year term, during which she was named President of Pueblo City Council. 

In 2006, she was appointed to the 10th Judicial District Nominating Commission for five years.

In 1999, she was appointed by Governor Bill Owens (R-CO) as the Economic Development Representative for Southeastern Colorado for six years.  This position entailed attracting, expanding and retaining jobs for Southern Colorado.

In 1998, she ran unsuccessfully for CO State Senate (District 3).

In 1995, she was elected to the Board of Water Works.  In 2001, she became the first woman and the first Hispanic to be elected President of the Board of Water Works. 

She has been a precinct chair for the CO Republican Party for the past 20 years.

She is the owner and managing partner of two commercial/residential real estate enterprises. She also manages a health care corporation, which includes six medical providers and two locations in Pueblo.