Lobbyists Questionably Leap To Sen. Jack Tate’s Defense

MONDAY UPDATE: Conservative blog Colorado Peak Politics’ lede today says a mouthful:

That’s how the boys explain these things, yes! Unfortunately the victims tend to see it differently.

And yes, this is yet another shining example of the problem.

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UPDATE #2: More from today’s post from Morgan Carroll, as Statesman reporter Ernest Luning responds–Carroll lays out the problem brilliantly:

Morgan Carroll: Just to be clear. You wrote the story in question. You miss the point. I think it looks like a lineup of lobbyists (who have professional and financial ties to Tate) [Pols emphasis] defending an elected official overall suggesting that if women lobbyists think Sen. Tate is a nice guy that the he couldn’t have harassed or been inappropriate with an intern.

Exactly.

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UPDATE: In a testy Facebook exchange with Colorado Democratic Party chair Morgan Carroll, longtime Capitol lobbyist Wendy Aiello appears to confirm that she is “working with” Sen. Jack Tate to respond to the allegations against him:

This detail is significant because Megan Dubray, who is extensively quoted in today’s story from the Colorado Statesman’s Ernest Luning (below), is listed as “of counsel” for Aiello Public Relations. None of these relationships are disclosed in Luning’s story.

Which is, of course, a big problem.

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Sen. Jack Tate.

A new story from Ernest Luning of the former Colorado Statesman this morning is stoking fresh controversy in the growing scandal over widespread sexual harassment in the Colorado Capitol. The story consists of several lobbyists defending Sen. Jack Tate from allegations of misconduct leveled in a story by KUNC’s Bente Birkeland late last week.

Luning’s story is problematic on several levels–for Sen. Tate, and also the lobbyists attempting to jump on this grenade on Tate’s behalf:

“I was surprised by the story,” lobbyist Adeline Hodge told Colorado Politics. “I was definitely surprised to hear Jack Tate’s name thrown into the ring. I think we can all acknowledge there are things at the Capitol that need improvement, but I think we need to focus on the true problem areas.”

Said lobbyist Cindy Sovine-Miller: “I’ve worked very closely with Sen. Tate, and I’ve never experienced anything like that. He’s very respectful of his wife and his daughter and the women around him. I’m not trying to say sexual harassment isn’t happening at the Capitol, but you guys are pointing the finger at the wrong guy.”

The most stout–and questionable–defense of Tate came from Meg Dubray, a (nominally) Democratic lobbyist:

“What we saw in the paper didn’t show some sort of deviant pattern of behavior. The whole thing — a politician’s job is kissing babies and shaking hands. He’s a friendly guy, he’s from the South and has that sort of congenial nature to him. But it’s never been toward me or anyone I’ve seen in a less than completely respectful way,” [Dubray] said.

After repeating one of the story’s allegations — that Tate had supposedly told the anonymous intern he “really liked that skirt” she was wearing while on an elevator with her — Dubray said she doubted it happened that way but, even if it had, it was an example of Tate’s southern manners and nothing to get alarmed about.

“He always appreciates when men and women are dressed well,” Dubray said with a laugh. “But not in a creepy way, almost in a funny, goofy way.” [Pols emphasis]

That’s what they all say, isn’t it?

Of course it may be true that Tate has never harassed Dubray personally, or these other lobbyists personally, but that doesn’t rule out the possibility that he did so with others. And we’re sorry, but dismissing such behavior as “funny” or “goofy” has allowed way too many predators to continue with their predation.

Anyone who has followed the pitched battles in the legislature in recent years over legislation easing restrictions on subprime personal lenders is aware that Dubray is the lobbyist who worked with Sen. Tate on behalf of those lenders. In 2015, a last-minute bill that Dubray helped sneak through the House was vetoed by Gov. John Hickenlooper after an outcry from consumer advocates and in some cases hoodwinked Democrats.

The point? Meg Dubray has a gainful professional relationship with Sen. Tate. We haven’t looked into the other lobbyists’ disclosures, but it wouldn’t surprise us to learn the same.

Folks, how could this story be published without mentioning that? It’s irresponsible to leave that crucial fact out, even if it can be straightforwardly inferred. And it segues into the larger problem with these defenses of Tate: they seem to all be coming from lobbyists, and Jack Tate is the chairman of the Senate Business, Labor and Technology Committee.

If the conflict of interest here is not immediately evident to you, please go back and reread Ethics 101.

We Hold These Truths To Be Self Evident

I wrote the following to Senator Cory Gardner’s “Share Your Thoughts on Fixing our Tax Code and Growing Wages” page.  Since it requires fully identifying myself, I wanted to post it here as well under my name so that it wouldn’t disappear into the black hole of his email inbox.

Tax Relief for the wealthy is a waste of money and hurts our future

Republicans in Congress have been promoting this tax cut bill as aimed at the middle class, and not to benefit the already well-off among us. And yet the Congress’ own non-partisan analysts have proven that only the wealthy will have permanent tax cuts while the rest face rising taxes in a few years after all the gimmicks the GOP inserted into the bill expire. As any economist not named Laffer will gladly explain to you with hard evidence from both the Reagan and Bush years, trickle-down economics doesn’t work, and you are guaranteeing ballooning the deficit yet again which will grant you the excuse to cut not the bloated, never audited Pentagon budget, but rather the safety net that our elderly and infirm need and deserve. We have full employment and yet Republicans want to halt even legal immigration. Trump is doing everything he can to damage our economy by threatening world trade and our power to control our economic destiny. Can we build a better future for our children by making education a priority? Yes, but not with your bill that disincentivizes education and effectively relegates our young to dead-end jobs at little more than minimum wage.

The American people have given the GOP full control of Congress, the White House and even the Courts. In return, your party has pursued short-sighted, self-destructive, self-serving and backward looking policies that will set our country back for a generation, or more. We elect our representatives to lead, and to build a better future for all Americans. The world has looked to us for leadership for nearly a century, and all the GOP has to offer is ignorance, cowardice and venality — shirking your opportunity to lead, offering just a shriveled, inchoate message of bluster, failed policies and nonsensical reasoning.

The moral, ethical and intellectual bankruptcy of your party is in full display. Voters have started to realize the damage you have wrought, and will be voicing their opinion at the ballot box. Jamming this tax bill through with all the damage it will cause, just because you are desperate to notch a “win” merely illustrates how pathetic the set of values are that you hold so dear.

The depths of my disgust for the actions you and members of your party are taking knows no bounds. You should be ashamed, but your words and actions show you have no shame.  The knowledge that you are not even the worst among your party dismays me the most.

That is what makes me fear for all of our futures.

We can be happy this one isn’t running for governor of Colorado

Ohio Supreme Court Justice William O’Neill, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor, in one of the most bone headed political strategies of all-time, attempted to get ahead of his opponents by admitting his sexual indiscretion.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/11/17/ohio-governor-candidate-boasts-of-sexual-history-with-approximately-50-very-attractive-females/?utm_term=.3a1681367578

Its safe to say this won’t work.

Oops! Rep. Dave Williams, Day Late, Dollar Short

UPDATE: From Rep. Faith Winter’s statement this week stoutly defending Speaker Crisanta Duran, which carries considerably more weight:

Speaker Duran has done everything correctly. In May of 2016 Speaker Hullinghorst and then-Majority Leader Duran took the allegation seriously, worked with legal services to provide me with legal options and most importantly respected my decisions as a survivor. It was my decision not to move forward with a formal complaint. I worked with leadership to come up with a resolution that I felt most comfortable with. I told him I would go public if I heard of anything else. We thought that the issue had been resolved with the steps that he agreed to, including getting therapy and quitting drinking, and I hadn’t heard of subsequent allegations until last week.

From when I first informed Speaker Duran about the incident to today when I informed her I would be filing a formal complaint she has been very supportive and has also followed all the guidelines as outlined in our workplace harassment policy.

I one hundred percent support the Speaker, and we need to focus on the only person to blame for Steve Lebsock’s actions – Steve himself.

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Rep. Dave Williams (R).

Moments ago, controversial freshman Rep. Dave Williams of Colorado Springs published an op-ed in the Denver Post addressing the recent sexual harassment scandal in the Colorado General Assembly. Williams takes a strident partisan line, affecting great outrage over the supposed failure of House Speaker Crisanta Duran to intervene in Rep. Steve Lebsock’s alleged serial harassment:

Another dark shadow has been cast over the Colorado General Assembly, giving citizens even more cause to “throw the bums out.” Recently, state Rep. Steve Lebsock has been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women, and I for one believe their stories. Because of his own actions, Lebsock has lost the trust of his colleagues and the public and it’s time for him to step down.

But the truth is we would never have arrived at this point if the state House Democratic leadership hadn’t covered up for Lebsock for well over a year. Their silence and mishandling of this issue put at risk other women, for which they must be held accountable.

Sturm und drang, indeed–but since Rep. Dave Williams wrote this opinion sometime before yesterday evening, something happened.

Longstanding allegations of harassment by Republicans in the Colorado Senate, alluded to since the first reports a week ago, were confirmed. In at least one case, Sen. Randy Baumgardner, the allegations were sufficiently common knowledge that it is impossible GOP Senate leadership were not aware of the situation.

With this in mind, we decided to have a little fun with Williams’ bombastic rhetoric search-and-replace style:

Another dark shadow has been cast over the Colorado General Assembly, giving citizens even more cause to “throw the bums out.” Recently, state Sen. Randy Baumgardner has been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women, and I for one believe their stories. Because of his own actions, Baumgardner has lost the trust of his colleagues and the public and it’s time for him to step down.

But the truth is we would never have arrived at this point if the state Senate Republican leadership hadn’t covered up for Baumgardner for well over a year. Their silence and mishandling of this issue put at risk other women, for which they must be held accountable…

Just like Hollywood covering up for Harvey Weinstein for so long, so too has the Colorado Republican Senate leadership indirectly caused abuse of additional victims.

As a state legislator, I realize that the people have given us a sacred trust. They expect us to conduct the people’s business in an ethical and upright manner. That trust has been violated, not only by Baumgardner but also by Kevin Grantham, Chris Holbert, and any other leaders who knew about this, yet did nothing to prevent future abuses…

The archaic days of covering up corrupt and immoral behavior because of political expedience must end, which is why Grantham, Holbert, and anyone else in leadership who knew but didn’t stop it need to resign. [Pols emphasis]

And that, dear reader, is why you wait until both shoes have dropped.

Colorado Week in Review: 11/17/17

As He Exits Gubernatorial Race, Brauchler Needles Coffman

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

This guy to the rescue!

As he exited the gubernatorial race this week, Republican attorney general candidate George Brauchler criticized current AG Cynthia Coffman, telling KCOL radio host Jimmy Lakey that Coffman’s last-minute “decision to abandon her position as attorney general” put the AG’s office at risk of falling into Democratic hands–something he did not want to see happen. And this helped push him out of the gubernatorial race.

“The timing was so important to my decision,” said Brauchler, the district attorney who tried the Aurora theater shooter, on KCOL’s Nov. 14 show. “When she made the decision to abandon her position as attorney general less than a year before the general election, my phone just started going crazy, started blowing up with people who are saying, ‘What are we going to do to hold this seat?’ The idea of one of the progressive, extremist-type candidates on the other side taking that seat — in addition to possibly having the governorship — it would just put us, Jimmy, on a path where — I’m not even sure we’d be on the road to California. We would be California.  And I was convinced — and I believe — that the best role I can play right now for helping my home state is to defend that Attorney General’s position and to make sure it is held by a conservative and not someone who wants to legislate through litigation.”

Political operative and pundit Laura Carno, who served on Brauchler’s advisory committee, underscored the point on Lakey’s show the same day.

“I’m disappointed that a statewide official left an office where she was going to be running for reelection, and that really should be one of the offices that we don’t have to worry about — a popular incumbent running for reelection,” said Carno on Greeley’s KCOL, adding that she also agree with Brauchler that the “numbers” in the gubernatorial race, with new opponents, did not look good. “But now, with Cynthia Coffman moving over to the governor’s race, that puts at significant risk that attorney general spot. And if we’re going to — if we have the potential of having a Gov. Polis – God forbid– we have to have somebody with guts in that attorney general’s office. So, by the end of the conversation, although I started out saying, ‘I have got to talk George Brauchler out of this,’ there was just no other decision. And I appreciate that he moved over to protect that seat. So, that’s how I’m looking at it, and [I’m] disappointed that he was put in that position. But, I get it. I’m supportive. And I’m still a huge George Brauchler fan. I think he’s an eminently decent human being.”

In other statements, Brauchler acknowledged that the entrance of former Congressman Tom Tancredo into the gubernatorial race complicated his path to a primary victory, as did Coffman’s late decision to run.

“[Tancredo] also competes for some of the same votes that I’d compete for,” Brauchler told the Colorado Independent.

Unless Brauchler draws a primary opponent, he will likely face one of these Democrats vying for the their party’s nomination: Boulder prosecutor Michael Dougherty, attorney Brad Levin, Denver prosecutor Amy Padden, State Rep. Joe Salazar of Thornton, or former CU Law School dean Phil Weiser.

House Tax Bill is VERY GOOD to Donald Trump’s Family

President Trump says that the Republican tax proposals represent the largest tax cuts “in the history of our country.” This is not even close to being true, unless perhaps Trump is talking about the benefits to his own family.

As NBC News reports:

President Donald Trump has insisted, for months, that the Republican tax plan he supports won’t benefit him.

“It’s not good for me. Believe me,” he said at a Sept. 27 event in Indiana to sell the plan. “My plan is for the working people, and my plan is for jobs. I don’t benefit,” he also said that day.

And earlier this month, according to NBC News, Trump told a group of Democratic senators in a phone call, “My accountant called me and said ‘you’re going to get killed in this bill.’”

In fact, Trump and his heirs potentially could save more than $1 billion overall under the GOP tax proposal that the House of Representatives passed Thursday, with most of that amount coming from a repeal of the estate tax, according to an analysis NBC News commissioned of Trump’s one known 2005 tax return and his estimated net worth. [Pols emphasis]

The degree to which President Trump personally benefits from the Republican tax reform plan may be debatable, but Trump has been trying to sell the American public on the absurd idea that he doesn’t benefit at all from the proposals.

Is it any wonder that public opinion is decidedly opposed to the GOP tax plans? In a recent poll conducted by Quinnipiac University, 59% of American voters say the Republican tax proposals benefit the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.

Broactive: GOP’s Evolving Response To Harassment Scandal

Colorado Senate President Kevin Grantham.

With the scandal over widespread sexual misconduct and harassment in the Colorado General Assembly entering its second week, the latest development being accusations against two Republican Colorado Senators, we wanted to take a moment to circle back and examine the three statements put out by GOP Senate President Kevin Grantham’s press office as the controversy has unfolded.

The initial statement came last Friday, as KUNC’s Bente Birkeland broke the first story of allegations against Democratic Rep. Steve Lebsock:

We take any and all allegations of sexual harassment or misconduct very seriously. The legislature has been proactive about heading-off potential problems by conducting in-depth sexual harassment awareness training for legislators and staff, and we have a formal process in place to address issues if they arise. At this time we have no active complaints on these issues, [Pols emphasis] but we will continue to be proactive [Pols emphasis] about educating lawmakers and staff and policing problems should they occur.

Then the following Monday, an updated statement from Senate GOP leadership outlining new proposed steps from President Grantham to address the problem–still without any mention of the possibility that Senate Republicans had themselves been implicated:

We have a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment, [Pols emphasis] but welcome the opportunity to improve upon our procedures. I propose to my colleagues the following 5-part improvement plan to increase access to information and ease reporting processes.

But yesterday, after allegations against Republicans finally broke, a very different statement:

We take every allegation of harassment or misconduct seriously. We ask those who feel they have been victims of harassment or inappropriate behavior at the General Assembly to file an official complaint, in confidence that their anonymity and rights will be protected. Going forward, Senate Republican leaders cannot and will not be responding to unsubstantiated or anonymous allegations against members appearing in the press, [Pols emphasis] which the existing complaint process is designed to handle.

Over the last week, the chief complaint from critics of Democratic Speaker of the House Crisanta Duran is that she knew about the allegations that Lebsock had committed sexual harassment but “didn’t take action.” It’s not true; the statements of the principal survivor in Lebsock’s case are clear that the matter was resolved through mediation in the House–and the survivor came forward publicly only after further alleged incidents by Rep. Lebsock. It’s critical that this timeline be clearly understood.

But as we said yesterday, the allegations against at least one Republican Senator who has now been identified, Randy Baumgardner of Hot Sulphur Springs, were very far from secret. The original story from Berkeland last Friday referenced at least three yet-unnamed Republican Senators who were known offenders–the guys every woman in the Capitol knew to keep their distance from.

What does that mean? It means Senate President Kevin Grantham’s claims that Senate Republicans are in any way “proactive” in addressing sexual harassment, or that anything like a “zero tolerance” policy exists in his chamber, are false. If they were true, Randy Baumgarder would have been subjected to the same scrutiny Lebsock faced in the wake of his actions in 2016–at least the “informal mediation” described by all parties in Lebsock’s case. Some kind of acknowledgement that something bad had happened.

And the other Senators, too. At least one whose name we don’t yet know.

With this in mind–with the fact that at least one Republican accused of harassment was, like Rep. Lebsock, a poorly-kept secret under the Gold Dome–all of these statements from Senate Republican leadership are revealed to be evasions. There was no “proactive” work going on in the Colorado Senate to put a stop to sexual harassment, while the House at least tried to intervene. And after the savage grilling House Speaker Duran has faced over the last week for her handling of Lebsock, suddenly it’s Kevin Grantham who appears to have actually “turned a blind eye” to harassment in his chamber.

Item one: Speaker Duran gets an apology from…a bunch of dudes. You know who you are.

Item two: The editorials calling for Kevin Grantham’s head had better be good.

Friday Open Thread

“A sovereign’s great example forms a people; the public breast is noble or vile as he inspires it.”

–David Mallet

BREAKING: GOP Sens. Tate, Baumgardner Accused of Harassment

Randy Baumgardner.

KUNC’s Bente Birkeland breaks more ugly news from the Colorado General Assembly–this time two members of the Republican state Senate majority accused of harassing lobbyists–and, in at least one case, an intern working for a member from across the aisle:

New claims of sexual harassment have been brought up at the Colorado legislature involving Sens. Randy Baumgardner and Jack Tate. Both, in comments to us, strongly deny any wrongdoing, although they refused to answer our specific questions directly.

Megan Creeden, an intern who was 25 at the time, told us she had many uncomfortable encounters with Baumgardner during the 2016 legislative session. She said Baumgardner often pressured her to drink with him in his office and she didn’t want to be with him in his office alone because she didn’t know him…

Six other female lobbyists and staffers who declined to be named for this story, fearing going public would affect their work relationships at the Capitol, said they also avoid Baumgardner. Some said they won’t work alone with Baumgardner and only go to his office in pairs or urge male colleagues to work with him instead. Baumgardner chairs the Senate Transportation and the Senate Capital Development Committees.

The allegations against Sen. Randy Baumgardner of Hot Sulphur Springs are not surprising to many people in the Capitol we’ve spoken with–in fact it was only surprising that it took so many days after the initial allegations of widespread sexual harassment in the General Assembly came out almost one week ago for Baumgardner to become part of the story.

That’s a nice way of saying that Baumgardner’s reputation for this kind of thing is not a well-kept secret.

Jack Tate.

The case of Sen. Jack Tate, representing a substantially less safe suburban Denver Senate district, though, was perhaps less expected:

The former intern, who was 18 at the time, spoke to us on the condition of anonymity, because she could be involved in an unrelated sexual assault case involving a different person. She claims Tate was inappropriate with her repeatedly over a period of two-and-a-half months last year…

At one point, she alleged, Tate said to her, “if she wanted to move up in the world, give him a call.” [Pols emphasis]

Needless to say, eww. That’s the trademark blending of the professional with the skeezy you never, ever want to see.

In response to these new-but-not-really-new allegations, GOP Senate President Kevin Grantham released a new statement, overriding previous carefully-worded missives about “proactively” taking on the problem of sexual harassment. Now that Republicans are under the microscope, the Senate GOP leadership is officially clamming up:

We take every allegation of harassment or misconduct seriously. We ask those who feel they have been victims of harassment or inappropriate behavior at the General Assembly to file an official complaint, in confidence that their anonymity and rights will be protected. Going forward, Senate Republican leaders cannot and will not be responding to unsubstantiated or anonymous allegations against members appearing in the press, which the existing complaint process is designed to handle… [Pols emphasis]

Can you imagine the outcry if this had been House Speaker Crisanta Duran’s first response?

As you can see, the next phase of this troubling but very much necessary storyline appears to be underway. Stand by for updates tomorrow.

Dr. Chaps, Once Again a CCU Prof, Defends Roy Moore


Today, former Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt of Colorado Springs appeared at a high-profile press conference to defend the embattled U.S. Senate campaign of former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore. Moore, beset by a growing body of allegations that he sexually harassed and assaulted underage women while serving as a district attorney in his 30s, has been nominally disowned by Republicans including Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado in his capacity as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC)–who said after several days of bad press that Moore should be expelled from the Senate if he prevails in next month’s special election.

In his speech today, ex-Rep. Klingenschmitt lavished praise on Moore for standing behind Klingenschmitt during his legal drama stemming from illegally appearing at a White House protest wearing his Navy uniform. As Buzzfeed reports, Klingenschmitt went directly after the women now accusing Moore of impropriety:

Gordon Klingenschmitt…quoted the Ten Commandments — “Thou shalt not bear false witness” — as he described Moore’s accusers. He went on to mention Beverly Young Nelson’s stepson, who used a baseless conspiracy theory to question his stepmother’s account of her assault, and an inaccurate Breitbart story attempting to depict Leigh Corfman’s mother as saying that the Washington Post coerced the story from her daughter. Corfman’s mother had told the Washington Post that she was “horrified” when her daughter told her of her experience with Moore.

So much for believing the women–not that we expected much better from “Dr. Chaps.”

One question that local observers will find curious in Klingenschmitt’s speech today, at the beginning, was his claim that he is currently a professor at Colorado Christian University. That’s an important point, since in last year’s HD-15 primary, Bob Beauprez’s hit group fronted by Dede Laugesen and employing Dan Njegomir now of the Colorado Springs Gazette played up the fact that Klingenschmitt was not an employee of CCU:

The controversial first-term state legislator and televangelist from Colorado Springs—under scrutiny for over $1 million that was raised since 2010 through a tax-exempt charity he operates—calls himself “Dr. Chaps” in his public persona and touts a litany of advanced degrees. His Wikipedia page states, “Klingenschmitt is a part-time college professor, serving as affiliate faculty at Colorado Christian University in the division of Biblical Studies.” A website he uses to promote his political campaigns states, “He earned his PhD in Theology at Regent University, and also holds Doctor of Divinity, M.B.A., M.Div, and B.S. Political Science degrees, and is a College Professor.”

However, a representative of Lakewood-based Colorado Christian University issued a statement via email to Colorado Government Watch this week confirming Klingenschmitt is in fact not teaching at the school.

“I can confirm that he has taught classes for Colorado Christian University in the past, but is not teaching at the present time and is not scheduled for future classes,” stated the email from Earl Waggoner, dean of biblical studies and theology at CCU’s College of Adult & Graduate Studies. Waggoner did not elaborate on why Klingenschmitt no longer is teaching at the campus.

Well folks, now it’s time for CCU to “elaborate” on why Klingenschmitt is back–and dropping the institution’s name in defense of Roy Moore!

We assume the respectable Republicans in CCU’s orbit will want to know.

Another Jeffco Republican Won’t Finish Elected Term

Jefferson County Commissioner Don Rosier

Walking out of an elected office before the end of your term has become something of a perverse tradition among Republicans serving in Jefferson County government. Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder Faye Griffin is the poster child for Republicans gaming the system for partisan benefit, but the problem is deeply-rooted in Jeffco…and it’s happening once again.

Earlier this week, a press release from Jefferson County announced that Commissioner Donald Rosier would be resigning his post in January 2018 in order to take a top job with an expensive new mixed-use development in Douglas County called Sterling Ranch. If Rosier’s name sounds somewhat familiar, you may recall that he was briefly (and laughably) a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in 2016.

Rosier was term-limited next year, but his early departure will allow a Republican vacancy committee to appoint a new County Commissioner. The early favorite for the vacancy appointment is Tina Francone, who was already running for Rosier’s seat but will likely now get to campaign as a semi-incumbent against Democrat Lesley Dahlkemper. Former legislator Libby Szabo got the same head start in 2015 — appointed Commissioner just two months after being re-elected to the legislature — which came a few years after Republican John Odom won the vacancy lottery in 2011 (Odom didn’t even bother to finish his partial term after losing to Democrat Casey Tighe in 2012).

Jefferson County has three County Commissioners who can each serve two four-year terms (if elected). The last time a Republican County Commissioner in Jefferson County completed a full two terms? That was back in 2005, when both Michelle Lawrence and Patricia Holloway were term-limited out of office.