The 2018 Election Ain’t Over Yet

SATURDAY UPDATE: Democrat George Stern has defeated Republican job-hopper Faye Griffin in the race for Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder.

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Jefferson County Democrat George Stern has moved ahead of Faye Griffin in the race for Jeffco Clerk and Recorder.

The 2018 Election was very good for Democrats, and it may yet get gooder.

In Arizona, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema has moved ahead of Republican Martha McSally in a nail-biter of a U.S. Senate race. In Florida, we could be looking at a recount in the state’s top two races, for U.S. Senate and Governor, while there may be some legal battles over an oddly-designed ballot in one Florida county. And in Georgia, the outcome of the race for Governor is still uncertain (though Republican Brian Kemp has declared victory over Democrat Stacey Abrams).

Here in Colorado there are a number of races that appear to be trending blue but are still uncertain. We wrote Thursday about three Democrats who moved ahead of their Republican opponents as late ballots were counted (HD-27, HD-47, and HD-50). As the Greeley Tribune reports, Democrat Rochelle Galindo now looks to be the winner in HD-50.

Elsewhere:

♦  In HD-47, Democrat Bri Buentello appears to have defeated “Deadbeat” Don Bendell, though a recount seems likely.

♦ In Arvada’s HD-27, Democrat Brianna Titone is closer to being the state’s first transgender lawmaker. The race between Titone and Republican Vicki Pyne may be headed to a recount.

♦ Arapahoe County is still working on a couple of important totals. In House District 38, Democrat Chris Kolker and Republican Susan Beckman are only separated by about 500 votes.

♦ In the race for Arapahoe County Clerk and Recorder, Democrat Joan Lopez has moved ahead of Republican incumbent Matt Crane and is the likely winner.

♦ In the Clerk and Recorder race in Jefferson County, Democrat George Stern has taken the lead over serial job-hopper Faye Griffin. Several thousand ballots still need to be counted, though most of them look to be from last-minute voters; as we’ve seen in other races this cycle, these late voters tend to favor Democrats.

 

December 4 is the deadline for candidates to request recounts in qualifying races.

Hopefully They Kept Their Receipts

UPDATE (3:49 pm): That didn’t take long. Here’s what happens now when you go to the URL below:

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We were recently alerted to digital ad that has been running in the last week in Jefferson County promoting the seven Republican candidates on the ballot for county government races. It is…not good.

This digital ad cycles through seven similar images that all point to the same website. The ads are promoting JeffersonCountyUnited.com, which doesn’t actually work as a standalone link but does work if you include a slash and a candidate’s name at the end, like so:

jeffersoncountyunited.com/tina-francone/

Now, the problem with this ad — aside from its grade-school production value and the silly qualifications listed for the candidates — is that it misidentifies 5 of the 7 people it is meant to promote.

Faye Griffin is running for re-election as Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder, but is identified as a candidate for Jefferson County Commissioner (this error is easier to forgive, since it is hard to keep track of which office Griffin is seeking in a given year).

Jeff Shrader is running for re-election as Sheriff — which should be obvious from the SHERIFF’S UNIFORM he is wearing — but is identified as a second candidate seeking the office of Jefferson County Assessor. Brian Cassidy appears earlier as a candidate for Assessor.

*Also, Bob Hennessy apparently has both “Public Sector Experience” and “Private Sector Experience.” This is a less egregious error but hilarious nevertheless. 

We looked up the domain name registration for JeffersonCountyUnited.com. The site is owned by Rearden Strategic, the consulting firm founded by Joe Neville (son of State Sen. Tim Neville and brother of House Minority Leader Pat Neville).

It isn’t common for political strategy firms to offer refunds to their clients, but in this case, that might be a good idea.

George Washington Could Not Be Reached for Comment

Readers of Colorado Pols are probably familiar with Faye Griffin, the longtime elected official in Jefferson County who changes jobs like most people change socks.

Griffin is running for re-election as Jeffco’s Clerk and Recorder — because she’ll never not run for some kind of office in Jefferson County government — and you can tell a lot about her from the three endorsements listed on her campaign website. Actually, you don’t even need to read further than the first endorsement:

 

Tom Jefferson

Someone is quite clearly playing a joke here. Griffin’s website includes a link to submit your own endorsement, and this is one of only three recommendations that Griffin could wrangle. Beggars can’t be choosers, we suppose.

It is at once hilarious and terrifying that the person in charge of overseeing elections in one of Colorado’s most important counties apparently has no idea that “Tom Jefferson” isn’t a real endorsement.

Just for grins, we checked Colorado’s voter registration records and found no listing of a “Thomas Jefferson” in Jefferson County.

Griffin is getting up there in years — she’ll be 79-years-old soon — but she’s not quite old enough to have shared a classroom with America’s third President.

Do Your Damn Job, Faye Griffin

FRIDAY UPDATE: They fixed it.

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Are you a Jefferson County voter planning to cast your ballot before Election Day on November 6, 2018?

Then you might want to let Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder Faye Griffin in on a little secret: It’s not 2019.

Readers of this site and one of our local spinoffs, Jeffco Pols, are probably familiar with Faye Griffin, who never met an elected position she wasn’t willing to abandon if it meant extending her time on the public dime. Griffin jumps from job to job in Jefferson County Government about as often as Donald Trump tells a lie. In fact, her job-hopping has become so notorious that the editorial board of the Denver Post agreed with our sentiment in 2014 when we documented another potential backroom office change.

We first discussed Griffin’s job-hopping in 2013 in a post titled, “Finish Your Damn Job, Faye Griffin.” That headline inspired the title of the post you are reading now, “Do Your Damn Job, Faye Griffin,” because this is what you’ll find on the website of the Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder:

Screenshot from www.jeffco.us/elections on Thursday afternoon.

Election Day is, in fact, on November 6. But not in 2019.

Obviously this is a relatively-harmless mistake. Nevertheless, the optics are terrible given that the long, long, longtime elected official in charge of the department is running for another re-election on the eve of her 79th birthday.

Griffin is being challenged by Democrat George Stern.

Christine Jensen Wants to Repeal/Replace Obamacare Because…Um…

(Asked to clarify, Jensen…could not — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Christine Jensen

At a campaign stop last month in Wheat Ridge, Colorado State Senate candidate Christine Jensen said “abuses abound” in Colorado’s health insurance program for the poor, which, she said, is a significant cause of Colorado’s budget woes.

“There are some that would much rather drive a nicer car than pay for the health care for their own family,” said Jensen, a Republican, in a Facebook video of the event.

Asked yesterday to clarify how many such people are in the Medicaid program, Jensen said she didn’t know the specifics but it “needs to be investigated.”

The Colorado Times Recorder was unable to identify records that illuminate how many Medicaid recipients are doing this, and how much money could be saved from taking away their health insurance.

Jensen also said that the state has a “moral obligation” to provide health insurance for poor people who “truly need it,” but she said in the video that there are “not nearly enough” efforts to crack down on Medicaid abuses.

 

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Rep. Tim Leonard Compares Women’s Rights Marchers to Nazis

Rep. Tim Leonard (R-Evergreen) shown here wearing jailhouse orange.

As Marianne Goodland reports for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman, State Rep. Tim Leonard (R-Evergreen) is again making an ass of himself:

Republican state Rep. Tim Leonard of Evergreen is under fire for a Facebook post in which he compared women marchers to Hitler’s brownshirts, the Nazi militia members who began the campaigns of violence against Jews in pre-World War II Germany.

Leonard has two Facebook pages, one for his personal life and another for his political office and campaign. The Facebook page generating controversy is on the page that he uses to communicate with House constituents and supporters.

The post refers to a Washington Times article that poked fun at the Women’s March, which sent out a press release after President Donald Trump announced his pick for the latest U.S. Supreme Court vacancy. The press release said “Women’s March opposes XX,” leaving out the name of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Screenshot from Tim Leonard’s Facebook page.

Here’s what Leonard wrote, word-for-word:

I usually like to avoid national politics, but the insanity and incoherency of the “Women’s March” radicals has to be pitied. They are so angry, they cannot even think straight. They could care less who the Supreme Court nominee is, they resist everything everywhere all the time from this President. Who can even take them seriously? They have nothing to offer to any logical discussion of ideas. They are in the political arena just to cause chaos — like Hitler’s Brownshirts. [Pols emphasis]

Of course, the guy comparing women’s rights activists to Hitler’s Brownshirts is notorious for wearing his own unique colors. Leonard holds the distinction of being the only sitting lawmaker in at least 40 years in Colorado to serve time in jail while holding elected office.

Democrat Lisa Cutter is running against Leonard in HD-25.

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.

Who’s Afraid of Big Bad Teacher’s Unions?

Evidently Kyle Clark didn’t like his school teachers very much.

9NEWS’ Kyle Clark, that’s who!

School board candidates backed and financed by teachers unions [Pols emphasis] are in positions for convincing wins in Jefferson County and Douglas County, with strong leads on Wednesday morning.

In Douglas County, where eight candidates are running for four seats, the union-backed slate [Pols emphasis] needs to flip only one race to gain control of the school board. If that happens, the new school board majority would likely abandon its defense of a controversial voucher program instituted by conservative school reformers. A legal challenge to that program is working its way toward the Supreme Court…

The union-backed [Pols emphasis] candidates for the DougCo school board maintained double-digit leads over the so-called education reform slate into Wednesday.

…In Jefferson County, three of five Board of Education seats were up for grabs. Two of the races were contested by conservative candidates looking to unseat union-supported [Pols emphasis] board members.

Kyle Clark’s full story on the school board elections in Douglas County and Jefferson County is eleven sentences long. Four of those eleven sentences–in addition to the title of the story–contain the words “unions,” “union-backed,” or “union-supported.” Now, we’re not disputing that the Colorado Education Association and their subsidiary organizations in Jefferson and Douglas Counties played a role in these elections–certainly they did, just as they did in the historic recall elections two years ago that swept a controversial far-right school board majority in Jefferson County from power.

But here’s the thing: over 120,000 Jefferson County voters participated in the school board elections that concluded yesterday. No doubt the teacher’s union’s support was helpful to the candidates who prevailed, but it’s Jefferson County voters who made the final decision–not the teacher’s union–and the winning candidates won by a landslide. And that means to obsess over the role of the union to the absolutely ridiculous extent Kyle Clark did in this story makes what he did here something other than journalism. This is a story written by someone so steeped in the demonization pushed by conservatives of organized labor that he completely lost sight of the larger reality–which is not “the unions,” but the fact that 120,000 voters who threw far-right radicals out of power in Jefferson County two years ago reaffirmed their choice by a similarly overwhelming margin.

Much like the Denver Post’s just-plain-sad endorsements that the voters ignored, this is a local TV newsman demonstrating only one thing: that he listens to the wrong people.

Lakewood City Council Race Takes Turn For The Nasty

The western Denver suburb of Lakewood is playing host to a number of tight city council races, with the Ward One race between incumbent longtime Republican political fixture Ramey Johnson and challenger Kyra DeGruy attracting significant attention. Johnson is a former GOP state representative who narrowly lost the mayoral election to Adam Paul in 2015, and has a long, checkered history in Jefferson County politics.

Yesterday morning, Johnson hosted a regularly-scheduled monthly ward meeting, which are supposed to be nonpartisan town hall-type sessions with residents. Instead, by all accounts Johnson launched into a full-throated pitch for her own re-election.

And then things got a little, well…worse:

This is from a handout that Ramey Johnson distributed to attendees at this city-sponsored event “describing” various donors to Kyra DeGruy’s city council campaign. The descriptions provided by Johnson of these donors appear to be lifted from various sources, but are obviously editorial in nature. And, you know, not exactly flattering.

In the case of Johnson’s description of former Lakewood City Councillor Karen Kellen:

A little searching reveals that this context-free blurb was taken without attribution from a 2011 Denver Post story by reporter Monte Whaley–ironically enough titled “Colorado gay officials seeing more-tolerant attitudes.” The story wasn’t about Kellen’s work after leaving the Lakewood city council, but from right after Kellen’s re-election to a second term, when Kellen went on to help represent LGBT local officials at the National League of Cities:

Over the weekend, Kellen was elected as an at-large member to the board of directors of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Local Officials, a constituency group within the National League of Cities.

To summarize, Lakewood City Councillor Ramey Johnson lifted a six-year-old blurb about former Councillor Karen Kellen, and used it out of context in campaign literature improperly distributed at a city-sponsored event–with the obvious purpose of smearing Johnson’s opponent in the Ward One council race, Kyra DeGruy, by implicitly casting DeGruy’s donors as out of the mainstream.

Folks, this is beneath everybody involved. Lakewood is not some kind of culture-war backwater where cheap whisper campaigns should be politically rewarded. It’s a throwback to the ugly politics of the early 2000s–not coincidentally when Johnson was at the peak of her own political career–when this kind of thing would fly in Jefferson County politics.

In 2017, it should not.

Erica Shields and the “Freedom Blanket”

Instagram post by Jeffco School Board candidate Erica Shields (Nov. 2015)

This photo of a “Freedom Blanket” was posted in November 2015 on the Instagram account of Erica Shields, a Republican running for Jefferson County School Board in District 2 against incumbent Democrat Susan Harmon.

Erica Shields

You’re not seeing things — this is an actual social media post by an actual Republican candidate for school board in Jefferson County, which is where the Columbine school massacre took place in 1999. We obscured the face of the boy in the photo because it’s not his fault that his mom thought that this would be a good thing to put out on the Internet tubes.

Shields posts on Instagram and Twitter under the handle “mrscoam2016,” a reference to the fact that she was the 2016 “Mrs. Colorado America,” which is apparently a thing. As of September 2017, she also started posting under the handle “@EricaforKids.”

As the Lakewood Sentinel reported in mid-September, Shields fancies herself as a “public health educator.” Judging by her social media accounts, this is a fancy way of saying that she is a personal trainer/yoga instructor:

Shields, a Jeffco mom, describes her work as being a “public health educator,” who advocates for childhood causes including fitness, resiliency, pediatric cancer, child abuse and neglect, and education.

“Over the last year, I have spent a significant amount of time volunteering in schools which serve high populations of students from families living below poverty,” Shields said. “I have seen the incredible needs in these schools. I have learned not every student in Jeffco has the same opportunities despite the billion dollars we spend each year. I am running to be sure we focus on improving opportunities for all students so that they can be better prepared for college or career.”

According to the Sentinel, Shields opposes closing schools, opposes the idea of moving sixth-graders to middle school, and wants to “attract and retain great teachers and staff.” It’s fun to come out against cuts of any kind when you don’t have to actually worry about a budget.

Mail ballots drop in Jefferson County on October 16.

Strange Case in Lakewood City Council Race

Michael Bieda

We haven’t talked much about local municipal races this year, in part because there hasn’t been a lot of terribly interesting news to discuss. Most city council races are fairly quiet affairs that don’t generate much enthusiasm — or many voters, for that matter.

But there’s a city council battle in Lakewood that is worth watching because of the unusual circumstances surrounding one of the candidates seeking to fill an open seat in Ward 3, (East Lakewood). Michael Bieda is a former State District Court Judge who lost his job in the 1994 election when voters elected NOT to retain him for another term.

If you’re not familiar with the process of retaining judges, let’s just put it this way: You’d have a better chance of finding someone to buy your solar eclipse glasses than you would of being ousted as a judge. Check out these statistics from the Colorado Office of Judicial Performance Evaluation:

Colorado voters elected to retain 1,312 of the 1,323 (99.2%) judicial officers standing for retention since 1990. [Pols emphasis] As shown in Table B, Colorado voters retained 99.7% of the judges receiving retain recommendations, 65% of those receiving do not retain recommendations, and retained all judicial officers where commissions offered no opinion.

Those are staggering numbers. Only 11 sitting judges have been kicked off the bench by voters in the last 27 years. Bieda is among those ignominious 11, and it didn’t take long for people to sour on him; Bieda was appointed to a District Judgeship in 1992 and was off the bench two years later. Bieda lost his job by 1,870 votes out of 126,216 votes cast in 1994.

Bieda served as a District Judge in the 18th Judicial District (Arapahoe County), where he took part in several notable cases, including the trial of Nathan Dunlap (the Chuck E. Cheese murderer). Bieda made enough waves behind the bench that he received a “Do Not Retain” recommendation from the Office of Judicial Performance prior to the 1994 election. Here’s what they said:

The Commission reviewed surveys and personally interviewed representatives from the criminal justice system. Most responses indicated that Judge Bieda has a poor courtroom demeanor, is arrogant, and has angry outbursts toward lawyers and parties. Judge Bieda received low ratings in his sensitivity toward witnesses and jurors. There are also responses that indicate that Judge Bieda is “unfair” in his treatment of women in his courtroom. The Commission is concerned that Judge Bieda’s hostile courtroom behavior has not improved over time nor has it changed with his transfer from the Domestic Division to the Criminal Division. Responses indicate that Judge Bieda has demonstrated an unwillingness to become proficient in his management of his criminal docket, and the handling of criminal cases. An additional concern to the Commission is the number of complaints alleging that Judge Bieda appears unprepared in his handling of criminal matters.

Bieda does address this issue on his campaign website, which you can read in full here. He says that he was targeted by attorneys who were upset that he didn’t let them charge more for their services, or something:

While sitting as judge, I created a pilot project to make the divorce forms with instructions easily available to those who did not want to hire a lawyer. This had never been done before. This project was so successful that the State Judicial Department adopted it and expanded it into the forms available today statewide through the state court system.

As you might expect, I was not popular with everyone, especially the domestic bar association. Because I helped people with the forms project, and because I insisted that the lawyers be prepared and efficient in their presentations, they were not able to charge their clients the outrageous fees they had been used to. Some of them organized a campaign against me when I came up for the election.

Because city council races are usually low-information, low-turnout affairs, it’s hard to gauge how much Bieda’s past will hurt his chances against opponent Michael Gifford. But getting kicked off the bench seems like a pretty tough negative for anyone to overcome.

Ex-Jeffco school board member sounds the alarm on “Spiritual Warfare”

(At least she’s not your school board member…anymore! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Back in 2015, before conservatives were removed from the Jeffco School Board, the Independence Institute’s Dave Kopel, a conservative, made the memorable observation that school board member Julie Williams got the “rest of the board into trouble with a lot of  foolish, barely thought-out ideas she has expressed inappropriately.”

She’s still saying such things, as evidenced by a Facebook post last week, obtained by a source.

Williams posted an article headlined, “Something Wicked Is Creeping Into U.S. Homes,” which stated, “The U.S. entertainment industry is entrenched with devil worshipers who are actively working to promote and normalize satanism in American culture.”

Williams commented, “Spiritual Warfare is getting stronger…Lord be with us.”

Recall Williams incited protests when she proposed sanitizing American history courses in Jeffco schools.

It’s not known if she would have wanted to put more emphasis on the alleged threat posed by lurking devil worshipers who might want to normalize satanism in Jeffco.

Good News! June 23-30, 2017

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

This diary is about small victories, local heroes, sweet stories, random kindnesses, unexpected grace, cold justice served up on a hot plate. As always, your interpretation of what is “good news” is probably different than mine.

This week, it’s all about healthcare and the resistance to the BCRA Wealthcare bill.  We’ve come too far to give up now. Keep our eyes on the prize:  A public healthcare system like every other industrialized country has.

Healthcare, the ACA, and the Senate Wealthcare bill

The Senate Democrats fought hard to keep the BCRA, aka Trump’s Wealthcare bill, from being voted on without hearings or public input. It was good to see some Senate backbone on display.

Hawaii’s Maisie Hirono led  filibustering on the Senate floor.

Our own Senator Bennet spoke at length,  outlining what’s at stake in this health care bill.

But – we don’t know what Cory Gardner really thinks about the Senate healthcare bill he supposedly helped to draft. Right now, he looks to be in the “Yes on BCRA” camp, because he pretends that insurance costs will go down with the Senate bill.  However, Cowardly Cory will not give his constituents the courtesy of in-person meetings or town halls to discuss his position. Even when said constituents try really, really hard.

To keep the heat on, keep contacting

Senator Bennet: Contact Us

Senator Gardner: Contact Cory*

More good news about healthcare in Colorado: we get to keep all of our insurance brokers next year, said Colorado Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar. No Colorado counties will be without an insurance provider, according to the Summit Daily News.

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Finish Your Damn Job, Faye Griffin (Again)

Jeffco Republican Faye Griffin is (politically) immortal.

Faye Griffin will still be serving as an elected official in Jefferson County long after your children’s children have come and gone — even if Jeffco Republicans have to get her cryogenically frozen in order to make it happen.

It looks like we need to update a long-running saga involving Griffin’s political history in Jefferson County. Current Jeffco Commissioner Libby Szabo is rumored to be considering leaving the Commissioner’s office in order to focus her energy full-time on the open Congressional seat in CD-7. If Szabo does resign early from the Commissioner’s office, we hear that current Jeffco Clerk and Recorder Faye Griffin may be in line to replace Szabo. If this is indeed true, it would mean that the 78-year-old Griffin was leaving the Clerk and Recorder’s office in the middle of her third (non-consecutive) term in order to complete her third term as a County Commissioner. This is absolutely ridiculous, and it needs to stop.

We’ve talked about Griffin’s serial seat-hopping in the past, as well as the fact that her constant movement allows Jeffco Republicans to essentially subvert the will of voters. In the last 10 years or so, numerous Republican candidates have “run” for office for the first time with the power of an unearned-incumbency behind them. The Denver Post has also waded into this story and condemned the political malpractice. Take a look at what the Post wrote in October 2014:

When voters support a candidate, they should expect that person will serve the full term of office. It’s not too much to ask…

…Make no mistake, this isn’t about Griffin’s political affiliation. This is about a vacancy system that empowers party honchos instead of requiring special elections for vacancies, and Griffin’s willingness to abandon a commitment in order to continue in public office.

One of the more amazing parts of that editorial comes from an interview with Griffin herself:

We asked Griffin why she would leave the commission two years early, and she was candid in saying it was due to term limits.

Griffin is in the middle of her second term, and if she stayed in the position, she couldn’t run for the commission again — and there would be no other palatable options for her, in her mind.

“In two years, there’s no county office that is open,” Griffin said. So, she is seeking the office she held for eight years, starting in 1998.

Ahead of the 2018 election, there’s good reason for Jeffco Republicans to continue convincing Griffin to keep moving offices. Democrats appear to have a strong candidate for Clerk and Recorder in George Stern, so it is in the best interests of the GOP to try to place a new Clerk and Recorder now in order to give that person enough time to build up their name ID before 2018. And by moving Griffin back to County Commissioner in the meantime, she wouldn’t need to run again until 2020.

After the 2014 election, Griffin was quoted by the Golden Transcript with this comment about her future plans: “I am going to retire sometime, I just don’t know when.” We’re not saying that Griffin should retire — she just needs to finish her damn job for once.

 

Faye Griffin’s Seat-Hopping History
♦ 1998-2006: Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder (2 terms).
♦ 2006: Elected as County Treasurer (4-year term).
♦ 2008: Elected as County Commissioner after ditching Treasurer’s office mid-term. Republican-controlled Commissioners appoint Republican Tim Kauffman to fill remainder of Griffin’s term as Treasurer.
♦ 2012: Elected to second term as Jefferson County Commissioner
♦ 2013: Griffin announces that she will run for Jeffco Clerk and Recorder again in 2014. For the second time in 5 years, Griffin leaves elected office well before end of term.
♦ 2014: Elected as Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder for third time (1998, 2002). Libby Szabo later appointed to rest of Griffin’s term as Commissioner; Szabo elected to full term in 2016.
♦ 2017: Szabo rumored to consider resigning as County Commissioner in order to run full-time for Congress in CD-7. Szabo’s rumored replacement? Faye Griffin, of course.

 

Jessie Danielson Runs To Succeed Sen. Cheri Jahn In Key District

Rep. Jessie Danielson (D).

Rep. Jessie Danielson of Wheat Ridge announced her run for Senate District 20 yesterday, a closely-divided swing Senate seat now held by term-limited Sen. Cheri Jahn:

Serving Jeffco in the State House has been a tremendous honor – and I am proud to have passed laws that are protecting vulnerable seniors, advancing equal pay, looking out for veterans, protecting our environment, and helping Colorado families get a fair shake when the odds are often stacked against us…

With your help, I will go to the State Senate and continue fighting for a better future – by empowering hard-working Coloradans who want to send their kids to great public schools and build a secure future for their families.

Whether it’s legalizing rain barrels or making child care more affordable, I have passed common sense laws focused on helping make day-to-day life a little easier for regular people. Just this year I passed the Wage Theft Transparency Act, which will shine a light on employers caught cheating workers out of their pay.

In the State Senate, I will continue to uphold the Colorado values that make our state a better place to live. The chaos in Washington shows that it’s up to us – here in the states – to stand up to powerful special interests and protect what makes Colorado unique. As state senator, I will never stop fighting for Colorado, for Jeffco and for you.

Sen. Jahn’s last election in 2014 against Republican candidate Larry Queen was a real nail-biter, with Jahn emerging victorious by fewer than 500 votes. Democrats nonetheless consider Rep. Danielson an ideal successor to hold the seat, with an excellent legislative track record and solid campaign skill and experience–good enough that she was considered a possible candidate for Congress to succeed Rep. Ed Perlmutter. Danielson is a sufficiently strong contender that we would be surprised to see a serious primary opponent emerge, though with an open seat you can never rule one out.

Either way, Democrats are feeling good about holding this swing seat on their way to recapturing the Senate majority in 2018, and now you know why.