Gossip: April 8, 2011 - Colorado Politics

Gossip: April 8, 2011

Author: Jared Wright - April 8, 2011 - Updated: April 8, 2011

Speaker of the Colorado House Frank McNulty has joined the law firm of Grimshaw & Harring, P.C., in order to help the Denver firm expand its natural resources and water law specialties.

McNulty, who represents Highlands Ranch in House District 43, opened offices with Grimshaw & Harring on April 1, no foolin.’ 

Currently serving in his third term, McNulty was unanimously elected Speaker by his House colleagues in January, after Republicans won a majority in the House of Representatives last November. 

McNulty, a graduate of the DU College of Law, served as Assistant Director for Water in the Colorado Department of Natural Resources until his election to the Colorado House of Representatives in 2006. He has served and advised organizations such as the Southeast Business Partnership and various non-profit entities since then.

“I am excited to join such a dynamic firm that is nationally recognized and has a long history of service in Colorado,” said McNulty. “This is a great opportunity to work with the wonderfully talented team at Grimshaw & Harring.” 

And, naturally, the law firm is tickled with their newest addition. 

“We are pleased to have Frank add to our capabilities. His contacts and unique expertise will be important to the firm, and to our clients. Colorado’s water laws are complex, but vitally important, and this move is an important step for us,” said Matthew Dalton, managing partner of the firm.

Grimshaw & Harring, in its 55th year, provides legal services to businesses of all types and sizes, municipalities, special districts, financial institutions, real estate developers, lenders, investors, insurance claimants, and water, natural resource and environmental clients. Attorney Thomas Grimshaw, a legend in providing counsel to municipalities and special districts, and a founder of the Special District Association of Colorado, is still an active member of the firm.

Might be time to pull those RYAN FRAZIER yard signs out of the garage. The Republican who gave U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter a good run for his seat — but ultimately lost the congressional race last fall by 11 points — is mulling a run for mayor of Aurora.

Ryan Frazier

The charismatic Aurora City Council member, elected twice to fill one of that city’s four at-large slots, told us himself he’s thinking about it and to expect an announcement within a couple weeks. But our sources at Aurora city hall told us he’s really thinking about it, and that signs point to a run.

The tea leaves aren’t that hard to read. The locally popular Frazier could run for a third term on city council if he wants — two of the city’s four at-large seats are on the ballot this year — but hasn’t filed for that yet. Meanwhile, that race is filling up with local heavyweights, including incumbent Brad Pierce and former councilors Bob LeGare and Dave Williams, Republicans all. Our insiders tell us the two challengers wouldn’t have filed if they thought Frazier would be on the ballot, and that makes sense. There’s also the tantalizing hint from Frazier himself, along with predictions that he’ll run from key political allies.

If Frazier runs for mayor — which gets decided in a November winner-take-all vote, unlike a Denver-style run-off situation — he’ll join two Republicans already in the ring. That could provide an opening for the race’s lone Democrat, former state Rep. (and former Republican) Debbie Stafford, who officially announced her campaign last weekend. Current Mayor Ed Tauer, scion of his predecessor, former Mayor Paul Tauer, is term-limited.

Municipal elections in Colorado’s third-largest city are nonpartisan, but that doesn’t keep partisans from getting involved. Democrats, notoriously over-represented in Aurora’s statehouse delegation but under-represented at city hall, have vowed to battle for every spot up for grabs this fall, and at last count have all their candidates in place.

The first GOPer who announced is Steve Hogan, a former pretty-much-everything, having been a legislator, city council member and Democrat at one time or another over the past 35 years. (He’s also a former flashy dresser, as is evidenced in photos from the wide-tied, anything-goes ’70s, when it seemed Hogan never met a sport coat he didn’t like.) With the endorsement of Paul Tauer and a slew of current and former elected officials, Hogan looks to have the establishment position locked up — he knows the city inside and out, and it’s his turn, goes the thinking.

Not so fast, said up-and-comer Jude Sandvall, an uppity Republican from the new part of town, who threw his tri-corner hat in the ring about a month ago. Sandvall, who is also said to be eyeing state Rep. David Balmer’s seat when Balmer is term-limited, could have the backing of Tea Party and other angry Republican folks, and they’re a force to be reckoned with in Aurora elections. In the burb’s last election, similarly styled candidates Melissa Miller and Marsha Berzins knocked off city council incumbents Deb Wallace and Larry Beer, respectively, if not respectfully, in two of the city’s most Democratic wards.

Where would Frazier fit in this mix? He’s a powerful fundraiser with a high profile from his congressional run. Perhaps most importantly, as a young, African-American defense contractor, he represents the new Aurora. For a city that’s roughly quadrupled in population since Hogan first ran for office, that’s no small calling card.

Jared Wright

Jared Wright

Jared Wright runs the business side of Colorado Politics, including circulation, advertising and marketing. He started as CEO and Publisher of the Statesman in 2015 and served as editor-in-chief for the journal during part of that time. He has worked in politics at both the state and federal levels, serving on a U.S. Congressman’s staff and working in government affairs in the private sector. Wright was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 2012 and served as member of Colorado’s 69th General Assembly from 2013-2014. He is also a writer, photographer and cartoonist.

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