| PostIndependent.com

Hershey in for reelection to Glenwood Springs City Council, as candidate deadline passes 

Monday was the deadline for petitions to be turned in to run for Glenwood Springs City Council, and not much has changed since earlier reports, other than an official announcement that incumbent Tony Hershey plans to run for reelection. 

All four seats that are to be decided by city voters in the April 4 election have someone running, whether for the first time or a second term.

Councilmember Hershey announced at the Jan. 19 City Council meeting that he would be running for a second term in one of the two At-Large seats, and that he had already turned in his candidate acceptance. 

“I have a question for you, Mr. Mayor,” Hershey said, addressing Mayor Jonathan Godes. Who said, “these past two months I’ve realized my place is still on the field, and not in the stands?”

 “Tom Brady,” he said in reference to the seemingly ageless NFL quarterback who announced his retirement after the 2021 season, but decided to play again. 

“So, after a lot of deliberation, I have decided to seek reelection for my council seat.” 

Hershey said he wishes his opponent, Erin Zalinski, good luck. She turned in her affidavit on Jan. 19.

Zalinski, the prior founding owner of TreadZ shoe and clothing store, is the sole person running as Hershey’s opponent for the At-Large seat.

Zalinski has been a business figurehead in the community since she opened TreadZ in 2008, and although she no longer owns the business, she said she is still confident in acting as a representative for small business owners. 

Hershey, speaking more toward other members of the current council at last week’s meeting, said he thinks that council has too many members who personally work in fields that have somewhat of a conflict of interest with their council roles. 

As a deputy district attorney, he said there is no way he is voting for his own personal gain. 

No new candidates turned in a petition by Monday’s deadline besides those previously reported to be seeking election or reelection.

For a recap, Councilor Paula Stepp is not running for reelection in Ward 4, where previously announced candidate Mitchell Weimer will be running unopposed. 

Recently appointed new Councilor Marco Dehm is running for reelection in Ward 1. He will also be running unopposed. 

And, in the other contested race, current Mayor Pro Tem Charlie Willman is running for reelection in Ward 3, opposed by Sumner Schachter. 

Each of the candidates turned in their petitions with their required 25 valid signatures before 5 p.m. Monday, and the election will begin once City Clerk Ryan Muse receives all affidavits. 

Election timeline

Jan. 27

The deadline to amend a nominating petition to correct or replace signatures.

Jan. 31

The last day to withdraw from nomination with a written affidavit from the candidate withdrawing, which must be signed by the candidate withdrawing and filed with the municipal clerk.

Feb. 17

The deadline to mail ballots and ballot materials to any person listed as an active military or an overseas voter in statewide voter list.

March 13

First day ballots can be mailed to registered city voters. It is also the first day ballots can be made available at the clerk’s office.

March 14

FCPA Report of Candidate Contributions and Expenditures due to the city clerk. A $50 fine will be charged to a candidate who does not return them on time.

March 20

The last day to mail ballot packets, and the first day mail ballots may be counted.

March 31

Second FCPA Report of Contributions and Expenditures due to the city clerk.

April 4

Election day, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

April 12

The last day ballots can be counted.

April 14

The last day an interested party may submit a written request for a recount at their own expense.

April 21

The last day for a person to contest the election of any person to municipal office by filing with the municipal clerk’s office.

May 4

Final FCPA Reports of Contributions and Expenditures due to the city clerk.

Post Independent reporter Cassandra Ballard can be reached at cballard@postindependent.com or 970-384-9131.

New Garfield County Clerk and Recorder sworn in

Swearing-in Tuesday for Garfield County elected officials

Swearing-in ceremonies for recently elected and reelected Garfield County officials is set for 10 a.m. Tuesday, with Ninth Judicial District Chief Judge James B. Boyd officiating. The ceremony is open to the public, a county news release states.

Newly elected Clerk and Recorder Jackie Harmon, along with incumbents Commissioner Tom Jankovsky, Sheriff Lou Vallario, Assessor Jim Yellico, Coroner Robert Glassmire and Surveyor Scott Aibner, will be sworn into office at the Garfield County Administration Building, 108 Eighth St., Glenwood Springs, in the commissioners’ meeting room.

Reelected incumbent Treasurer and Public Trustee Carrie Couey was already sworn in statutorily before the end of 2022, on Dec. 30.

Some Boebert backers urge her to ‘tone down the nasty rhetoric’

RIFLE, Colo. (AP) — Debbie Hartman voted for Lauren Boebert for Congress in 2020 and again in 2022, delighted by Boebert’s unequivocal defense of cultural issues that animate the Republican Party’s far right flank. But as Hartman shopped recently at a supermarket in this Rocky Mountain ranching outpost, she had one piece of advice for the Colorado lawmaker.

“Tone down the nasty rhetoric on occasion and just stick with the point at hand,” said Hartman, 65, a veterinary tech assistant.

That sentiment reflects Boebert’s challenge as she begins her second term in the House. In her relatively short time in Washington, she has built a national profile with a combative style embracing everything from gun ownership to apocalyptic religious rhetoric. Constituents such as Hartman in the Republican-leaning 3rd Congressional District laud Boebert for defending their rights, but cringe at her provocations, contributing to an unexpectedly tight race last year that she won by just 546 votes out of more than 300,000 cast.

“She tapped into what Trump was doing, and she maybe took it too far in some instances,” said Alex Mason, 27, adding that Boebert, whom he supports, is still more tactful than former President Donald Trump.

In an interview, Boebert said “this slim victory, it opened my eyes to another chance to do everything that I’ve been promising to do.”

To the congresswoman, that means being “more focused on delivering the policies I ran on than owning the left,” adding she hoped “to bring the temperature down, to bring unity.”

For much of past week, however, the temperature on Capitol Hill was only rising. Boebert was a leading voice among a group of lawmakers who refused to support Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s bid to become House speaker, a historic revolt against a party leader. McCarthy finally won the gavel early Saturday morning.

Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., talks with Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., after the 11th round of voting for speaker in the House chamber as the House meets for the third day to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Congress

Some of Boebert’s toughest words are increasingly aimed at fellow Republicans, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, another controversial Trump acolyte who was one of McCarthy’s most prominent conservative supporters.

“I have been asked to explain MTG’s beliefs on Jewish space lasers, on why she showed up to a white supremacist conference. … I’m just not going to go there,” Boebert said over the phone as she rode in a car winding through the high canyons near her hometown of Silt before the speakership vote. “She wants to say all these things and seem unhinged on Twitter, so be it.”

Boebert, 36, insisted that while she may try to pick fewer fights with the left, she’s not going to become a different person even after barely beating an opponent, Democrat Adam Frisch, who had targeted what he called Boebert’s “angertainment.”

“A lot of those on the left have said: ‘Look at your election, are you going to tone it down, little girl?'” she said. “I’m still going to be me.”

The slim margin has stirred discussion about whether she might be vulnerable in another race next year, with Frisch saying he has received encouragement from lawmakers in Washington to run again..

But, she said, she’s thinking more about what it’s like to be a member of the majority party.

“In the minority, all I had was my voice, the only thing I could do was be loud about the things I’m passionate about,” she said. Now, “We have to lead right now, we have to show Americans that we deserve to be in the majority.”

People in Boebert’s district, which runs from the ruddy red mesas in Grand Junction that stand sentry over rugged, high-desert terrain to the coal mining hamlets nestled in the Rockies, say the landscape promotes a kind of frontier libertarianism. To many voters, Boebert became a standard-bearer for a rural way of life and values that they feel are being both persecuted and forgotten.

Larry Clark, who spent 50 years tending to his family’s 160-acre ranch before his relatives sought cash for the land, points to one example. Many more liberal city-dwellers east of the Rockies voted to reintroduce wolves to the Western Slope, where the predators’ prey includes livestock that drives the local economy.

“They don’t understand what rural life is like,” said Clark, who only had encouraging words for Boebert, a staunch opponent of reintroduction. “Send the wolves to Boulder.”

Even if they’ve grown wary of her excesses, many of Boebert’s supporters say she’s amplified their concerns nationally and served as an an antidote to progressive Democrats such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

Raleigh Snyder, a retired aircraft mechanic in Grand Junction, said Boebert was America’s only chance against “endemic corruption” in Washington. Still, he said “she’s probably going to have to learn to temper her approach, but don’t change her goals.”

Outside Rifle’s City Market, Maryann Tonder said she doesn’t want Boebert “even to feel that she has to compromise principles to get stuff done.” But, she added, “you can do it in a way that is not over the top.”

Another Boebert supporter in Rifle, Julie Ottman, who was pushing a cart out of City Market, said, “sometimes you got to give a little bit in order to get.”

But others are pressing Boebert to stand firm.

“I don’t want her to bow,” said Mike Gush, 64, a coal miner from the small town of Craig. “I would stop supporting her.”

__

Jesse Bedayn is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

Western Slope representatives talk legislative priorities in first town hall of 2023

The 2023 Colorado legislative session begins on Monday, Jan. 9, kicking off 120 days of lawmakers introducing, modifying and passing bills that address our state’s most pressing issues.

Ahead of the opening session, four state representatives from the Western Slope — Senator-elect Dylan Roberts, Representative-elect Meghan Lukens, Representative-elect Elizabeth Velasco, and House Speaker-designate Julie McCluskie — convened for a virtual town hall meeting via Zoom to address some of the top policy priorities for the upcoming session.

Water rights and conservation were front of mind for all representatives, and, with Roberts serving as the chair of the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and Lukens and Velasco sitting on the House Agriculture, Livestock, and Water Committee, the Western Slope will have a prominent voice in determining water policy moving forward.

“Colorado will be a leader in this space,” McCluskie said. “We will work not only to protect the Colorado river basin, which is so near and dear to all of our hearts on the Western Slope, but think about the strategies for decades to come and how we protect this resource for the next generation.”

She emphasized that the state’s Joint Budget Committee has prioritized spending on the Colorado Water Plan, and that she expects a continued push for accessing federal resources to support planning processes. Roberts also mentioned that he would support the creation of a full-time position for an upper Colorado River commissioner to defend water rights in upcoming negotiations.

“We know our Colorado River negotiations and dealings with the other states is an incredibly serious and high stakes position right now, and so I think having a person focused solely on that is important and necessary,” he said.

Lukens, a former teacher who now serves on the House Education Committee, noted that lawmakers are looking at opportunities to retain excess state revenue to fund public education while searching for additional ways to support students and teachers, such as the Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact, which would reduce barriers for teachers to become licensed to work in other states.

The state also put $80 million towards special-education services in the last legislative session through the School Finance Act, and McCluskie said that lawmakers are entertaining a bill to invest more this year. In addition to funding special education, the state is looking at opportunities to alleviate the Medicaid waitlist for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, though this service gap goes beyond funding alone.

“I will say one of the challenges we have faced, certainly in Summit County and across some of our smaller rural communities, is capacity,” she said. “We have lost the individuals who provide these services to our IDD community members … we came up with some creative solutions for group settings, but it’s certainly something we need to continue to pay attention to.”

Velasco, a certified wildland firefighter who campaigned on her advocacy for emergency preparedness and environmental resiliency, talked about working on bills that will increase funding opportunities for local fire districts, making emergency information accessible to everyone, and removing barriers for volunteers to be able to participate in firefighting efforts.

“We just had the anniversary of the Marshall Fire that was the most destructive, most expensive fire for our state, so this is definitely something that’s very important at the legislature, and we are working together to bring the solutions for everyone,” she said.

Reproductive rights were also brought up in the town hall, with Lukens highlighting efforts to keep planning clinics accessible and operational now that the Reproductive Health Equity Act guarantees the right to abortion in Colorado.

“We’re looking at increasing state funding for family planning clinics to ensure that Coloradans can get access to comprehensive planning services and strengthen state coverage requirements for private health plans to ensure that Coloradans have access to preventative care, and that would include reproductive-health, oral-health, behavioral-health services,” Lukens said.

“Also, we are a desert — a lot of the states around us don’t have access to reproductive rights, so we are seeing the opportunity of supporting other states as well,” Velasco added.

On the topic of housing affordability, McCluskie talked about working on a property-tax reduction proposal, as well as potentially instituting tax credits for first-time home buyers.

Attendees at the town hall also asked about expanding the jurisdiction of physician assistants in Colorado, to which McCluskie responded that, if a statewide approach cannot be found, lawmakers will look into regional options for rural parts of Colorado, where access to care is such a critical issue. She encouraged physician assistants with questions or insight on this issue to reach out directly.

Roberts said that this was to be the first of numerous town halls, both virtual and in-person, that the legislators plan to hold over the span of the 120 days in session to keep constituents up-to-date with their progress.

As 74th Colorado General Assembly begins, HD57’s Elizabeth Velasco joins largest class of female legislators ever

Colorado heads into its 74th General Assembly on Monday with the largest class of female legislators in state history. Following the 2022 midterms, females now make up 51% of Colorado legislators.

One of these legislators is Glenwood Springs Democrat Elizabeth Velsaco, who beat Republican former House District 57 incumbent Perry Will (R-New Castle) in November. Will was appointed Saturday to fill the vacant Senate District 5 seat following Sen. Bob Rankin’s retirement.

“I definitely believe that women, we are caretakers,” Velasco told the Post Independent on Thursday. “We definitely see things with a different lens, and that’s reflected in our leadership. We’re going to be leading with bold solutions and that collaboration between all of us in the House.

“I’m definitely proud to be part of these women majority legislation.” 

Velasco, also the first Latina to represent the redrawn district encompassing all of Garfield and Pitkins counties and a small portion of Eagle County, comes at a time when the Western Slope itches to solve housing affordability and major environmental issues. HD57 also hasn’t had a Democratic representative for the past 40 years.

“I am bringing a new voice that has been missing at the legislature — that is the new American voice,” Velasco said. “That also speaks for our community. We’re ready for different leadership.

“I am very excited to support the working families in the district.”

During a Thursday afternoon press conference, incoming Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives Julie Lynn McCluskie said since 51 of the 100 legislators are women, it makes Colorado the second state in the nation to have a women-led majority in the legislature.

McCluskie said this brings a voice for prioritizing working families, civil rights and health care — issues women have been fighting for for so long.

Monday’s 74th session also marks the first time women have been in the top three leadership positions in the Colorado House of Representatives. This includes Latina Majority Leader Monica Duran and Jennifer Bacon, the first black woman to hold the assistant majority leader slot.

McCluskie said Velasco being the first Latina to represent the Western Slope means there’s better diversity represented across the state.

“Those voices will bring different lived experiences and different perspectives to the policy that we are crafting,” she said. “Ultimately, if we want to create lasting policy that makes a difference for people, that really allows everyone to live their Colorado dream, we need to be sure that all of those voices are at the table.”

McCluskie said she recognizes this diversity as a real strength for the governing body.

“I hope that we are able to continue our work not only here in the building — but across the state — to elevate and lift up other voices that may not always be here when we are taking on tough policy conversations,” she said.

On Monday, Velasco, a local small business owner who runs a translation and interpretation firm, will be sworn in and soon start the process of working on bills.

She said, ultimately, these bills will be indicative of Western Slope interests.

“We really care about supporting our ranchers, about making sure that we are advocating for water, from preventing diversions, to thinking about drought planning and thinking about community resiliency and that we all enjoy the natural beauty of our forest — that’s definitely one of my priorities and something that I ran on as an environmentalist,” she said. “I also know that we respect the will of the people when it comes to local authorities and local leadership, so I definitely look forward to working together to make sure those solutions that we have at the state level are working for the people who are implementing them at the county level and the municipal level.”

Post Independent western Garfield County reporter and Assistant Editor Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or rerku@postindependent.com

Election for Glenwood city council is right around the corner

Only 90 days until the next local election, which means Tuesday was the first day to circulate nominating petitions for open Glenwood Springs City Council seats.

One of the city’s At-Large council seats, currently held by Tony Hershey, will be decided in the April 4 city election, along with the Ward 1 seat held by recently appointed member Marco Dehm, the Ward 3 seat held by incumbent Charlie Willman and the Ward 4 seat held by incumbent Paula Stepp. 

Stepp has already announced she will not be running for re-election in her ward due to the amount of time involved with holding a council position and what she said was a lack of adequate compensation for that time given. 

She has offered an extensive amount of time as a councilor who also acts as a council liaison for multiple boards, committees and commissions including:

  • The River Commission
  • The Airport Board
  • Club 20
  • The Ruedi Water and Power Authority
  • An alternate for the Financial Advisory Board
  • An alternate for the Tourism Promotion Board
  • An alternate for the Housing Commission

Each of the other members whose terms are up indicated they will run again in this election, except for Hershey who said he has still not decided.

Candidates must gather signatures of at least 25 registered voters from within their ward of residence or citywide if they intend to run for the At-Large seat.

Here’s a map of the city ward boundaries:

City-ward-map

All candidates, political committees and issues must register with the city clerk before accepting or making any contributions, and all candidates shall certify by affidavit filed with the city clerk, within ten days, that the candidate is familiar with the provisions of the Fair Campaign Practices Act, according to Colorado state law.

Following is the election timeline: 

Jan. 4

The first day applications for absentee ballots may be filed in writing to the clerk. 

Jan. 23

The last day a nomination petition can be circulated and signed prior to regular elections; also the deadline for filing nomination petitions to run for city council.

Jan. 27

The deadline to amend a nominating petition to correct or replace signatures. 

Jan. 31

The last day to withdraw from nomination with a written affidavit from the candidate withdrawing, which must be signed by the candidate withdrawing and filed with the municipal clerk. 

Feb. 17

The deadline to mail ballots and ballot materials to any person listed as an active military or an overseas voter in statewide voter list.

March 13

First day ballots can be mailed to registered city voters. It is also the first day ballots can be made available at the clerk’s office.

March 14

FCPA Report of Contributions and Expenditures due to the city clerk. A $50 fine will be charged to a candidate who does not return them on time.

March 20

The last day to mail ballot packets, and the first day mail ballots may be counted.

March 31

Second FCPA Report of Contributions and Expenditures due to the city clerk.

April 4 

Election day, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

April 12

The last day ballots can be counted.

April 14

The last day an interested party may submit a written request for a recount at their own expense.

April 21

The last day for a person to contest the election of any person to municipal office by filing with the municipal clerk’s office.

May 4 

The last day final FCPA Reports of Contributions and Expenditures due to the city clerk. 

Recount confirms Lauren Boebert narrowly held her House seat

DENVER (AP) — An automatic recount confirmed Monday that Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert won her reelection bid against Democrat Adam Frisch. The nail-biter race showed the congresswoman’s combative style is wearying voters in her conservative Colorado district.

Secretary of State Jena Griswold announced the results Monday evening. Frisch netted a total of four votes in the recount, far from enough to close a 500-plus vote gap with Boebert. An Aspen City Councilman, Frisch had already conceded the race last month after the first tally put him just under the state’s margin for a mandatory recount.

Few expected the race to come down to such a narrow margin. In her first term in office, Boebert rocketed to national renown for her staunch support for former President Donald Trump, aggressive use of social media and willingness to engage in personal feuds with Democratic representatives.

Frisch ran against what her called her “angertainment,” saying he wouldn’t back U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as party leader and describing himself as a nonpartisan problem-solver. Few gave him much of a chance in the conservative 3rd Congressional District, which edges up against some famed, liberal ski towns but is dominated by vast, less glamorous and energy-rich swathes of rural Colorado.

Joyce Rankin resigns Colorado Board of Education seat following husband Bob’s state Senate resignation

Colorado Board of Education Member Joyce Rankin, a Republican from Carbondale, has announced that she will resign her position, effective Jan. 10, 2023.

The decision comes on the heels of husband Bob Rankin’s announcement last week that he will be resigning from the state Senate, also in early January.  

Joyce Rankin has represented the 3rd Congressional District on the Board of Education since August 2015, when she was appointed to fill a mid-term vacancy. She was elected in November 2016 to complete that term and was re-elected for a full six-year term in November 2020.

“It’s been an honor to serve the children and educators of our state alongside my fellow board members,” Rankin said in a news release. “I’ll always be proud of the board’s collaboration on key issues to support children and educators, especially our commitment to ensuring all students can read at grade level because this is absolutely the foundation for success in school and throughout life.”

Colorado Education Commissioner Katy Anthes praised Rankin for her leadership and support for improving reading rates and helping to shepherd policies to improve reading among Colorado students, including the READ Act.

“Board Member Rankin’s commitment to the goals of the READ Act and support of scientifically-based reading instruction for teachers will make a positive impact in the lives of children for years to come,” Anthes said in the release. “She has devoted enormous amounts of her time and energy to serving children and educators, visiting schools and libraries throughout her diverse and expansive district.”

The resignations for both Joyce and Bob Rankin will trigger the creation of Republican vacancy committees to fill the two seats.

In the case of the 3rd Congressional District seat on the Board of Education, following the interim appointment there will be an election in November 2023 to fulfill the rest of the term, which ends in January 2027.

Meanwhile, Bob Rankin would have changed over to representing the newly redrawn Senate District 5 in January, which includes the six municipalities in Garfield County, plus all or parts of Pitkin, Eagle, Gunnison, Delta and Hindale counties.

Among the candidates expressing interest in that appointment are state Rep. Perry Will, R-New Castle, who lost his re-election bid to Democrat Elizabeth Velasco of Glenwood Springs in the Nov. 8 election.

Rep. Matt Soper, R-Delta, who was elected Nov. 8 to a third-term in the Colorado House of Representatives, said in a Monday news release that he would not be seeking an appointment to the Senate District 5 vacancy and would back Will for the post.

A Republican Senate district nominating committee will be charged with filling the vacant Senate seat.

Bob Rankin stepping down from Colorado Senate seat

Republican state Sen. Bob Rankin of Carbondale on Thursday announced his resignation from the Colorado State Senate, effective Jan. 10, 2023 as the Colorado General Assembly is set to convene for the new session.

“I have informed the Secretary of the Senate my intention to resign from the Colorado State Senate effective January 10th,” Rankin said in a prepared statement issued by the Colorado Senate Republicans. “After proudly serving this state for the past 10 years, I have made the decision to move forward with the next chapter of my life.” 

Rankin was not immediately available for further comment on his decision and what the future holds. 

Rankin was appointed to serve in the State Senate from Senate District 8 in 2019 following the resignation of former Sen. Randy Baumgardner, and was formally elected in 2020.

Prior to joining the Senate, Rankin was elected to four terms in the Colorado House of Representatives from House District 57. Since 2015, Rankin has served on the Joint Budget Committee. 

“We are all incredibly grateful for Senator Rankin’s service to this state,” Senate Minority Leader Cooke said in a statement. “His grit, integrity, and honesty is something every member of the General Assembly can aspire to.

“During his tenure, Bob championed responsible conservative fiscal policy to the benefit of every Colorado taxpayer. His commitment to this state and the people of Colorado will always be cherished.”

Rankin earned bipartisan praise in a statement from Democratic Gov. Jared Polis.

Governor Polis released a statement on the resignation of State Senator Bob Rankin. 

“Senator Rankin’s commitment to bipartisanship and fiscal responsibility is a model for all of us, and his steady hand on the Joint Budget Committee will be missed,” Polis said. “I enjoyed working with Senator Rankin to help rural communities, cut red tape, save people money on healthcare with reinsurance, provide the biggest property tax cut for property owners and small businesses in recent memory, invest in education, and to strengthen search and rescue capacity.” 

Rankin’s Senate District changed with last year’s redistricting process in Colorado, from SD 8, including several northwest Colorado counties, to SD 5, including parts of Garfield, Pitkin, Gunnison, Hinsdale and Delta counties. The Carbondale Republican would not have been up for reelection in his new district until 2024.

His wife, Joyce Rankin, is a Republican member of the state Board of Education from the 3rd Congressional District.

In January 2019, a vacancy committee comprised of 10 Republican representatives from the SD 8 counties selected Rankin to succeed Baumgardner, who had resigned over sexual harassment allegations. 

Also seeking the nomination at the time were Glenwood Springs resident and former state Rep. Gregg Rippy, who now chairs the Garfield County GOP, and 9th Judicial District Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Zachary Parsons, among others.

At the time, Rankin would have been the ranking member on the House Appropriations Committee. He continued to serve on the Joint Budget Committee from the Senate.

Longtime Colorado wildlife officer Perry Will of New Castle was ultimately appointed to replace Rankin in the HD 57 seat. That district was also redrawn last year to include Pitkin County and the Roaring Fork Valley portion of Eagle County, and removing Rio Blanco and Moffat counties. Will was defeated in the Nov. 8 election by Democrat Elizabeth Velasco of Glenwood Springs.

Post Independent interim Managing Editor and senior reporter John Stroud can be reached at jstroud@postindependent.com or at 970-384-9160.