Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams this week congratulated his elections staff on their work and asked them to help make the incoming secretary as successful as he has been.
Colorado set a record turnout for a midterm election, although ballots are still being counted.
“You guys did a phenomenal job,” the secretary said. “Thank you.”
On another Nov. 6, in 1990, Coloradans elected Republican Hank Brown to the U.S. Senate and re-elected Democrat Roy Romer governor. On this Nov. 6, Democrats shattered the state’s reputation as a ticket-splitter, electing Democrats to every statewide constitutional office.
Among the victors: Jena Griswold, who nixed Williams’ bid for a second term.
“The new secretary is going to need your support and help because that’s the only way new secretaries are able to do it,” said Williams, who was elected to the office in 2014.
He said he did things differently than his predecessor, Republican Scott Gessler, who did things differently than his predecessor, Democrat Bernie Buescher, “and this is part of the process we have here.”
Williams also attempted to calm staffers worried about what happens when Griswold is sworn in Jan. 8.
“I will tell you that in various forums with Jena she never said, ‘We need to get rid of everything they’re doing.’ She ran on a campaign of ‘They’re doing a good job, but I’m going to do it better,'” he said.
The Durango Herald in an editorial published the day after the election said of the race:
“Williams was a terrific secretary of state for Colorado. It is thanks in part to him that Colorado leads the nation with the ease and security of its voting. We think so highly of Griswold, however, that we believe she knows, campaigning aside, that the task before her is not to break with the past but to continue the work that Williams and his staff have done.”
Since the election, Williams has been flooded with calls, including from Democratic lawmakers, Colorado Common Cause, the League of Women Voters, and the state’s U.S. senators, Democrat Michael Bennet and Republican Cory Gardner.
“They all recognize the great work you guys do here,” Williams said.
Over the next two months, he said, he plans to oversee the state’s nationally lauded risk-limiting audit, go on vacation, finish some projects, hunt for a job and be with his wife, Holly Williams, on Jan. 8 when she is sworn in as an El Paso County commissioner.
“To quote Monty Python,” he said, “I’m not dead yet.”