Pot, Handmaids and Magpul: Colorado Politics’ hottest stories of 2017

Author: Colorado Politics - December 29, 2017 - Updated: December 30, 2017

Activists dressed as characters from “The Handmaid’s Tale” chant in the Texas Capitol Rotunda as they protest SB8, a bill that would require health care facilities, including hospitals and abortion clinics, to bury or cremate any fetal remains whether from abortion, miscarriage or stillbirth, on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)


Our most popular stories aren’t always the ones Colorado Politics journalists consider most newsworthy. Case in point: this list of our most viral-prone stories of 2017, which contains nary a mention of school choice, Neil Gorsuch, DACA, the #MeToo movement, transportation or special sessions, threatened or real. Without further ado, here are the headlines that were most important — to you, the readers — over the past 365 days.


In this Monday, Aug. 14, 2017 photo, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., waits back stage as crowd files in at a town hall meeting at the University School’s auditorium in Greeley, Colo. (Joshua Polson/The Greeley Tribune via AP)

10. Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner: Obamacare backers ‘finally’ admit health care law needs bipartisan fix

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, a Colorado Republican, this summer said Democrats are “finally” admitting they need to work across the aisle to find bipartisan solutions to the nation’s health care system, adding that the failure by GOP senators to overturn the Affordable Care Act won’t stop efforts to replace the legislation, known as Obamacare.



Richard Skorman and Yolanda Avila celebrate winning races for City Council District 3 and District 4 respectively Tuesday, April 4, 2017. (Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette)

9. On a snowy Election Day in Colorado Springs, “sea change” may have come to Council majority

Colorado Springs voters sent a surprise message during a big April snowstorm, electing a potential majority bloc of City Council members that could push a more liberal agenda, results showed.



U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., looks on during the Colorado Democratic Party’s State Assembly in Denver on Saturday, April 12, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

8. Jared Polis picks two women to lead his campaign for Colorado governor

Democratic gubernatorial candidate and U.S. Rep. Jared Polis announced in July that two women will lead the management of his campaign: Jenn Rider and Lisa Kaufmann.



Former State Treasurer Cary Kennedy stands outside the Denver Museum of Nature and Science on Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017. (Photo by Ernest LUning/Colorado Politics)
Former State Treasurer Cary Kennedy stands outside the Denver Museum of Nature and Science on Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017. (Photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics)

7. Keating poll shows Democrat Cary Kennedy leading Republican Tom Tancredo in Colorado governor’s race

A November poll of likely Colorado voters showed Democrat Cary Kennedy ahead of Republican Tom Tancredo by 16 points in a general election match-up between the leading gubernatorial candidates.



In this Feb. 28, 2013 file photo, workers assemble 30-round capacity ammunition magazines for high-velocity rifles, inside the Magpul Industries plant in Erie, Colo. Magpul. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

6. Colorado gun law backfires; Wyoming loads up with Magpul deal

Magpul Industries announced a mega-deal to supply ammunition magazines to the Marines in late December 2016, a boon for Cheyenne and a loss for Colorado.



In this Thursday, April 2, 2015, file photo, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., listens to officials speak during a news conference at the construction site of the Veterans Affairs hospital in Aurora, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, file)

5. U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter to drop out of Colorado governor’s race; won’t run for re-election to Congress

Colorado’s U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter was expected to drop his bid for governor and announce that he would not run for re-election to Congress, Colorado Politics learned in July.



Activists dressed as characters from “The Handmaid’s Tale” chant in the Texas Capitol Rotunda as they protest SB8 on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

4. Protesters dressed as ‘Handmaids’ plan to greet Vice President Mike Pence at Colorado GOP fundraiser

Protesters dressed like characters in the novel and TV series “The Handmaid’s Tale” planned to greet Vice President Mike Pence outside a fundraiser for Colorado Republicans in Greenwood Village in October.


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., second from right, speaks after their caucus luncheon, with Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., left, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, right, on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

3. Passion and Pinocchios run high as Colorado leaders react to tax reform

After Republicans in the U.S. Senate passed its version of a tax reform bill in December, passions, rhetoric and threats rippled across the Colorado political landscape, proving hyperbole is the mother’s milk of politics.


“I may be the only Republican attorney general in the country who walks in a Pride parade,” says Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman at the Denver Pride Equality Rally on Sunday, June 18, 2017. (Photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics)

2. Republican Colorado Attorney General Coffman sides with state law, not Masterpiece cake baker

In October Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman defended the state’s nondiscrimination law to the U.S. Supreme Court — not a Lakewood baker who refused to serve a gay couple, citing his religion.



A woman smokes marijuana during the annual 4/20 marijuana gathering at Civic Center Park in downtown Denver, Wednesday, April 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

1. Despite claims, data show legalized marijuana has not increased crime rates

Attorney General Jeff Sessions told reporters March 6 that he thinks there is “real violence” behind the use of recreational marijuana. But Colorado’s marijuana advocates and others across the country used state and local-level data to push back on Trump administration claims that legalizing marijuana somehow increases crime rates.

Colorado Politics

Colorado Politics

Colorado Politics, formerly The Colorado Statesman, is the state's premier political news publication, renowned for its award-winning journalism. The publication is also the oldest political news outlet in the state, in continuous publication since 1898. Colorado Politics covers the stories behind the stories in Colorado's state Capitol and across the Centennial State, focusing on politics, public policy and elections with in-depth reporting on the people behind the campaigns — from grassroots supporters to campaign managers and the candidates and issues themselves.