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June 25, 2021 11:32 AM UTC

Former Rep. Mike McLachlan Remembered Fondly

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  • by: Colorado Pols
Former Rep. Mike McLachlan (D).

The Denver Post’s Saja Hindi reports on the passing Wednesday of former Democratic Rep. Mike McLachlan of Durango, whose service in the Colorado House was cut short in 2014 by a narrow ping-pong loss to far-right Rep. J. Paul Brown in closely divided HD-59–after which Mike McLachlan was ably succeeded in 2016 by his spouse, the presently serving Rep. Barbara McLachlan:

The attorney, married to current Democratic Rep. Barbara McLachlan, served as a state representative for one term from 2013-2014 before losing in a tight race to Republican opponent Rep. J. Paul Brown, whom Mike McLachlan had unseated in the election prior.

McLachlan is survived by his wife and two children, Brian and Kate.

McLachlan was appointed as solicitor general in 1999 and is known for his win before the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000 in Hill v. Colorado — in which he argued a person’s free speech rights were not violated by a state law that didn’t allow for protests or literature distribution within 8 feet of someone going into a health care facility like an abortion clinic.

A statement from Colorado House Democrats:

“Mike was the smartest, funniest, kindest and most loving person I will ever know,” said Rep. Barbara McLachlan, D-Durango. “He spent his life serving, helping and advocating, and has been a true role model for me, our family and our community. I will miss him dearly.”

“Mike was a great friend, a dedicated public servant, and a man of immeasurable talent who served his country as a Vietnam Veteran, as Colorado’s Solicitor General, and as a State Representative,” said House Speaker Alec Garnett, D-Denver. “He stood up for his community and his fellow Coloradans at every turn, going as far as the Supreme Court of the United States to speak up for what he knew was right. My heart and my thoughts are with my dear friend and colleague Barbara, who has been working tirelessly for over a year to both care for Mike and serve her district, and their children Kate and Brian.”

And from Gov. Jared Polis:

“Mike McLachlan was a public servant. From his service during the Vietnam War to his time as Solicitor General and as a State Representative, Mike always stood up for what was right, even if that was the hard thing to do. His military service, professional work, and extensive commitment to volunteer service in his southwest Colorado community made our state better, and he will be dearly missed. My heart goes out to Barbara, his children Brian and Kate, and his entire family.”

Memorial service information can be found here. Adding our sincere condolences.

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