Secretary Wayne Williams backs return to a presidential primary

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams talks about his support for a presidential primary at a news conference at the state Capitol Thursday. Behind him to the left are two lawmakers that support the idea, Reps. Alec Garnett, a Denver Democrat, and Tim Dore, an Elizabeth Republican. (SOS photo)
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams talks about his support for a presidential primary at a news conference at the state Capitol Thursday. Behind him to the left are two lawmakers who support the idea, Reps. Alec Garnett, a Denver Democrat, and Tim Dore, an Elizabeth Republican. (SOS photo)

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams outlined the reasons he backs a return to the presidential primary during a news conference at the state Capitol Thursday.

Williams said he still supports the caucus system because of the personal contact candidates have with voters. That chemistry isn’t the same, he said, with presidential candidates.

“To the best of my knowledge, neither Donald Trump nor Ted Cruz nor Hillary Clinton nor Bernie Sanders personally knocked on doors in Colorado to say, ‘Let me talk to you about why I think I should be president,'” Williams said of the Republican and Democratic frontrunners.

Standing behind Williams were two Democratic lawmakers, Reps. Dominick Moreno of Commerce City and Alec Garnett of Denver, and two fellow Republicans, Reps. Tim Dore of Elizabeth and J. Paul Brown of Ignacio, who support lawmakers this year voting to restore the presidential primary.

Coloradans in 1990 overwhelmingly voted to create a presidential primary. The measure was referred to the ballot by lawmakers and it changed election laws, not the state constitution. That flexibility allowed lawmakers 13 years later to cancel the primary, mostly because of budget problems.

Read moreSecretary Wayne Williams backs return to a presidential primary

Folks call her Nancy Pelosi, but wrong party, wrong state, wrong pronunciation

Republican Nancy Pallozzi from Colorado.
Republican Nancy Pallozzi from Colorado.

When your name’s Nancy Pallozzi and you’re involved in Colorado politics, you’re bound to get asked about Nancy Pelosi, who’s involved in DC politics.

“Every day I get asked about it,” said Colorado’s Pallozzi, who is running for state House District 28 in Lakewood.

Hat tip to retired lobbyist Frank DeFillipo, who pointed out the Colorado candidate. He said he plans to make a donation and then tell his Democratic friends he donated to a “Nancy Pelosi.” But it turns out the names aren’t pronounced the same.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi
Rep. Nancy Pelosi

Our Nancy says “Puh-loss-ee.” California’s Nancy says “Pell-oh-see.”

“It’s my married name,” Pallozzi said, whose maiden name is McIntosh.

It’s Leader Pelosi’s married name, too. Her maiden name was D’Alesandro. Pallozzi noted she’s been getting attention ever since the congresswoman began climbing in politics, as the House minority leader and the first woman speaker of the House.

Pallozi, a 48-year-old Lakewood native, is trying to unseat another Jefferson County native, Democrat Brittany Pettersen, 34, who is running for her third term in the House.

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”