Weld County Musical Chairs

(Clockwise from bottom left): Lori Saine, Barbara Kirkmeyer, Perry Buck, and Vicki Marble

Four term-limited Republicans in Weld County are playing a fun game of musical chairs so that they can all hold onto the sort of government jobs that they simultaneously covet and criticize on a regular basis.

State Representatives Lori “The Historian” Saine (R-Firestone) and Perry Buck (R-Greeley) are running for open seats on the Weld County Board of County Commissioners in 2020. State Sen. Vicki Marble (R-Looney Tunes) is making the unusual move to the lower chamber — in this case, for the seat being vacated by Buck. And since Weld County Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer is termed out, she’s hoping to take her talents to Denver as Marble’s successor in the State Senate.

This is the same sort of nonsense that plagued Jefferson County for years until voters ultimately got sick of the job-hopping and tossed out the lot of them. Jeffco now has only one Republican representative in the legislature and two GOP officials in county government — incumbent Commissioner Libby Szabo and Sheriff Jeff Shrader, who was the only Republican official re-elected in 2018 by virtue of being unopposed on the ballot.

The 2020 election in Weld County is shaping up to be quite the circus. It looks like there will be a wacky Republican Primary for the right to fill Saine’s House seat. Nearby, unabashed racist Grady Nouis is taking his criminal record for a run at the State House seat being vacated by term-limited Rep. Stephen Humphrey (R-Ault).

Weld County is much more of a solid Republican area than the current iteration of Jefferson County, though Jeffco changed quickly over just a couple of election cycles in part because of the serial job-hopping among elected (and un-elected) Republicans. We wouldn’t expect a major shift toward Democrats in Weld County in 2020, but don’t be surprised if that’s where this trail of crumbs eventually ends.

12 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. doremi says:

    Sorry.  Read it twice, and I still can't figure out what Vicki Marble has done…or what the others have done to do the musical chairs.

    i.e., how does Marble move to the lower chamber.   Are there resignations and vacancy committee appts here?  




  2. RepealAndReplace says:

    Shouldn't Faye Griffin be somewhere in the mix?

  3. doremi says:

    I'm quite critical of Saine and Marble, but I just don't see the problem with what they are doing.  So what?  They are running for county commissioner.  That's done by legislators all the time.  (In Boulder:  Gardner, Jones and Singer). (County commissioner jobs actually have decent salaries).

    I thought what was sleezy in Jeffco was resigning ahead of time to get vacancy appointments within the party and then having "incumbents" run.

    Going from the senate to the house has been done before.  Senator Frank Weddig (Democrat from Aurora) did it back in 2000 or so.

    Nevertheless, it is interesting that Lori Saine is running for County Commission instead of Marble's seat, which is what I thought she was going to do.

    • mamajama55 says:

      In Weld County, the Commissioners wield near-absolute power over which drilling projects get permitted. SB181 gave them “local control “, which they’re interpreting to give some token nod to “public health”, while allowing drilling everywhere.

      So these CC seats are juicy plums ripe for the picking. Lots of influence; lots of donations and perks to come from Extraction, Noble, and the other major o&g players. It’s not surprising that Saine and Buck are campaigning for these CC slots rather than trying to move to another chamber of a legislature under Democratic control for the foreseeable future.

      Kirkmeyer might be elected; she’s cultivated a “moderate” persona. Marble, I think, has too much baggage- thank God.

      • unnamed says:

        Well then, I don't see why they have such a beef with SB 181.  It gives them more power.

        • mamajama55 says:

          The local governments have more power over land use, i.e., zoning, permitting, and the like. Weld County has historically been lenient in allowing close in drilling to building structures including schools and multifamily housing.

          (possibly due to the generous donations of oil and gas companies to the local school district for special programs – Greeley SD6 has looked the other way while multiple well pads were placed by a high school football field, and by the playground of Bella Romero K-8 school).

          However, 181 strengthened the oversight of other government agencies, including those in charge of public health, water and air pollution, and hazardous waste. But the Greeley BoCC probably is counting on being able to limit that oversight and continue to allow hazardous development within county boundaries.  Because "local control" really does mean local control.

          To answer your question, they were against SB181 because Weld County is exceptional; it has , last time I checked, about 1200 direct gas and oil jobs. More than most counties in Colorado.

          Most other counties in Colorado do not have Weld’s level of oil and gas development, and so the local BoCCs would not necessarily have been willing to overlook the obvious hazards to public health and safety.

          So statewide, the oil and gas industry is looking now at having to prioritize public health, consult with protective government agencies more, put money into equipment and remediation,drill from farther away, clean up better, etc. That’s why they were against 181.

  4. mamajama55 says:

    Running for Lori Saine’s vacated Hd63 (Firestone) seat: a bible-thumpin’ homophobic gun totin’ pastor, Cory Seulean. Yee Haw.

    Spoiler alert: Seulean believes that there is no, or should be no, separation between church and state.

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