Ernest LuningErnest LuningMarch 4, 20186min454

STRIKE UP THE BAND ... It is, after all, March Fourth. The celebration started a few days early in Colorado, when John Philip Sousa IV, the grandson of the composer and marching band icon, was on hand to endorse a pair of longshot Republican candidates — Greg Lopez, the former Parker mayor running for governor, and Casper Stockham, who lost a bid to unseat Democrat Diana DeGette in the 1st Congressional District last time around and is giving it another go this cycle.


Joey BunchJoey BunchJanuary 12, 20183min7850

Democrat Barrett Rothe jumped in the state House District 43 race this week to unseat Republican incumbent Kevin Van Winkle in the Highlands Ranch district.

Rothe is a healthcare industry consultant who is unopposed, so far, in the Democratic primary. Unity Party candidate Scott Wagner also is in the race. Wagner ran as a Democrat last year and got 39.4 percent against Van Winkle, the highest total for a Democrat since Van Winkle was elected to his first two-year term in 2014.

Rothe ran as an unaffiliated candidate for the state Senate District 14 seat in Fort Collins in 2012, a race won by current incumbent John Kefalas, a Democrat.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to connect with voters over the next year,” Rothe said in a statement. “The people in Highlands Ranch deserve a thoughtful debate and a representative that will work for families and small-businesses, not the fringe groups that control their politicians today.”

Rothe called the March 6 caucuses his first test.

“We’re going to work hard to get people to the caucuses,” he said, “Democrats and Republicans are frustrated across the country, none more so than Colorado, and we want everyone in our district to take their frustrations to the caucuses in March, the primaries in June, and then the ballot in November.”

He noted that unaffiliated voters, the stage’s largest bloc, will be allowed to cast ballots in the June primary for the first time, and that favors moderate candidates.

“Both parties would be wise to rethink their strategies in our state,” he stated. “House District 43 in particular is ground zero for frustrated, moderate voters getting hit hardest by the anti-middle class policies coming from Washington, D.C. It’s going to be a year worth watching the seats taken for granted by Republicans.”

Rothe has an undergraduate degree from the University of Northern Colorado and a master’s in public administration from the University of Colorado Denver. He and his wife, Annelise, own a floral company in Highlands Ranch.

He also has a great website.


Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirSeptember 25, 201710min505

Some say nothing really prepares you for elective office, but Kevin Van Winkle might disagree. The youthful, second-term lawmaker, who represents Douglas County’s District 43 in the Colorado House of Representatives, served for years as a legislative staffer before his election in 2014. Van Winkle, a Highlands Ranch Republican, learned a lot from his time working behind the scenes with legislators — and is now putting his experience to use serving an area of DougCo where was born and raised, in a district previously held by former Republican House Speaker Frank McNulty. And Van Winkle certainly seems to know his way around. In addition to his regular committee work at the Capitol, he sits on the Legislative Board of Ethics, the board of the Colorado Channel and the Police Officers’ and Firefighters’ Pension Reform Commission.

Joey BunchJoey BunchApril 18, 20173min175
This week’s House Republican video is good for a couple of smiles. It serves up a lot of food for thought about the state budget and paying for transportation. The House GOP has contended all along that a tax increase isn’t needed to fund billions for widening interstates and other core transportation needs. (Transit, not […]

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Paula NoonanPaula NoonanMarch 3, 20175min1720

Republican state legislators dominate as sponsors of the capitol’s new, “most accessed bills” list with three pieces of legislation written to push Democrats over the edge. The top “most accessed” bill, killed in the House chamber, took a direct shot at politicians who support sanctuary cities, meaning Democrats in Denver and Aurora. Second is a Senate bill that turns a misdemeanor crime of tampering with oil and gas equipment into a class 6 felony. Sponsored by Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg from Sterling, the bill puts a stick in the eye of front range neighborhoods that don’t want industrial drilling 500 feet from their homes, schools and water sources.