A fourth-generation Coloradan, Polly Baca-Barragan took an interest in politics while at Colorado State University, working with Adlai Stevenson’s Young Democrats Club and the 1960 Viva Kennedy campaign. Upon graduation, she joined President Johnson’s Administration, then Robert Kennedy’s presidential nomination campaign as deputy director of Hispanic division. Leaving politics after Kennedy’s assassination, she later returned to the political Arena working for the Southwest Council of La Raza and as a director of Spanish-speaking Affairs for the Democratic National Committee. In 1974, she won a seat in a Colorado House of Representatives and four years later, became the first Hispanic woman to be elected to the Colorado State Senate.