Bob Rankin stepping down from Colorado Senate seat

Bob Rankin

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 or at 970-384-9160.

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