Sometimes Secretary Wayne Williams has to deliver bad news

Democrat Michelle Fry points to her late uncle, the last Democrat elected secretary of state.
Democrat Michelle Fry points to her late uncle, the last Democrat elected secretary of state.

A tough part of the Secretary of State’s job is occasionally crushing the dreams of a candidate by telling him or her the campaign came up short in collecting enough signatures to make the ballot.

Democrat Michele Fry got the bad news last week.

The Denver state House candidate turned in her signatures on  the final day possible, waiting outside the Secretary of State’s office that April 4 with her mother and her brother two hours before the lobby even opened. Fry loved getting a tour of the conference room where the photographs of secretaries of state were lined up side by side. Her uncle, George Baker, was the last Democrat elected secretary of state. He served from 1949 to 1953 and 1955 to 1963.

Fry never dreamt then that she wouldn’t make the ballot to run in the June 28 primary.

The signatures for another House candidate, Democrat Naquetta Ricks of Aurora, weren’t counted because they were improperly collected.

Secretary Wayne Williams hopes this week to announce the status of at least two U.S. Senate candidates petitioning onto the ballot and candidates for other posts. The results for the other two Senate candidates are expected next week.

Read moreSometimes Secretary Wayne Williams has to deliver bad news

Under the “B” — Rep. Cole Wist’s first bill signing

Gov. John Hickenlooper uses bingo daubers when signing a bingo bill from Rep. Cole Wist, right, as Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and staffers watch. From left to right, Lynn Waring, Mike Hardin, Lisa Marty, Williams and Wist. From left to right,
Gov. John Hickenlooper uses bingo daubers when signing a bingo bill from Rep. Cole Wist, right, as Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and staffers watch. From left to right, Lynn Waring, Mike Hardin, Lisa Marty, Williams and Wist.

In what likely is a first in Colorado history, Gov. John Hickenlooper today signed a bill into law using a fountain pen and two Uncle Sam-themed bingo daubers.

The daubers were the courtesy of Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, whose office oversees bingo operations.

Two Republicans, Rep. Cole Wist of Centennial, and Sen. Ellen Roberts of Durango, sponsored House Bill 1189.

The measure, which passed with unanimous support in both the House and the Senate, repeals certain restrictions on bingo-raffle licensure and authorizes the secretary of state’s expanded discretion on the rules and regulations governing bingo-raffles and bingo-raffle licensure.

Read moreUnder the “B” — Rep. Cole Wist’s first bill signing

Wayne Williams: “I understand the importance of youth involvement”

Members of Youth for National Change's Colorado chapter talk to Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams in his office Monday. Facing the camera, left to right, are Tay Anderson, Justice Smith and Jabari Lottie.
Members of Youth for National Change’s Colorado chapter talk to Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams in his office Monday. Facing the camera, left to right, are Tay Anderson, Justice Smith and Jabari Lottie.

By Keara Brosnan

The Colorado director for Youth for National Change and his fellow high school colleagues met with Colorado’s Secretary of State Wayne Williams Monday to discuss how youth in Denver and Colorado can be more involved in inciting local change.

Director Tay Anderson explained how the organization was started by a group of young activists in Washinton, D.C., and their success has continued to grow.

“There are about 36 states involved now,” Anderson said in a meeting in Williams’ office. “And for us, we want to give youth a voice in our state.”

Colorado’s chapter is newly established as of this month.

Read moreWayne Williams: “I understand the importance of youth involvement”

County clerks help Republicans, Democrats, tally assembly ballots

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams joins Elbert Clerk Dallas Schroeder, former Douglas Clerk Jack Arrowsmith, Arapahoe Clerk Matt Crane, Williams, Montrose Clerk Tressa Guynes and Weld Clerk Carly Koppes.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams joins Elbert Clerk Dallas Schroeder, former Douglas Clerk Jack Arrowsmith, Arapahoe Clerk Matt Crane, Williams, Montrose Clerk Tressa Guynes and Weld Clerk Carly Koppes.

El Paso County Clerk Chuck Broerman had plenty of help from fellow county clerks and his staff when counting ballots at the two-day Colorado Republican Party assembly.

It was Broerman who took the stage Saturday with GOP chairman Steve House, when House announced the stunning results of the U.S. Senate race. Of the eight candidates trying get on at the assembly by getting at least 30 percent of the delegate vote only one person, only El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn, made it. Glenn kept everyone else off the ballot by getting 70 percent of the vote.

Nearly 14,500 ballots were processed during voting on Friday and Saturday for delegates, the U.S. Senate, CU regent and more.

The ballot for the Colorado Democratic assembly.
The ballot for the Colorado Democratic assembly.

Colorado Democrats are doing things differently when they meet this Saturday in Loveland.

Denver Elections has already  prepared the ballots for the party, but staffers won’t be in Loveland doing the counting. The ballots will be tabulated back at the main office site and the results released Monday by the Colorado Democratic Party, elections director Amber McReynolds said.

Democrats don’t have a scramble for a Senate candidate. The incumbent, Michael Bennet, is running again.

Denver also handled the election last year for the contentious race for chair of the state Democratic Party.

“County clerks provide support to ensure this important process is conducted properly,” said Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams.

Read moreCounty clerks help Republicans, Democrats, tally assembly ballots

Big Rick Enstrom takes a big fall at the Republican assembly

A hurting Rick Enstrom from his hospital bed at Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs on Saturday.
A hurting Rick Enstrom from his hospital bed at Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs on Saturday.

At 6-foot-5, Jefferson County Republican Rick Enstrom was trying to get in the back row when supporters for Sentate candidate Jerry Natividad took the stage at the Colorado Republican assembly Saturday.

Enstrom took a step backward to the stage curtain but discovered there was no stage left.

He went straight down 4 feet — missing a pole by a mere inches –and  landed on concrete. He broke three ribs in his back.

“I think my ego is as badly broke as my ribs after taking a digger in front of 6,000 people,” Enstrom said. “Jerry felt so bad. He was back there holding my hand and I said, ‘Get out there and talk to people.'”

Enstrom is convalescing at his Lakewood home.

“I’m not even close to OK. I have to get off the couch on my hands and knees,” he said. “It’s ribs. There’s nothing you can do about it but tough it out.”

Read moreBig Rick Enstrom takes a big fall at the Republican assembly