The Colorado legislature convenes …

Rep. Pete Lee, D-Colorado Springs, Tom and Laurie Kennedy of Colorado Springs, parents of Rep. Chris Kennedy, D-Lakewood, and Secretary of State Wayne Williams. (SOS photo)
Rep. Pete Lee, D-Colorado Springs, Tom and Laurie Kennedy of Colorado Springs, parents of Rep. Chris Kennedy, D-Lakewood, and Secretary of State Wayne Williams. (SOS photo)

Today marks Day 3 of the Colorado Legislature, which convened on Wednesday amid plenty of excitement as new lawmakers were sworn in and the social calendar kicked off.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams mingled with senators and representatives and their families before the opening ceremonies Wednesday.

When he met incoming Rep. Chris Kennedy, D-Lakewood, he realized he knew the lawmaker’s dad. Tom Kennedy and Williams both practiced law at the same time in Colorado Springs.

Williams on Thursday attended Gov.  John Hickenlooper’s seventh State of the State speech.

“We have 725 days left together, and as the late, great, Muhammad Ali said, ‘Don’t count the days, make the days count,'” Hickenlooper said.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and Senate President Kevin Grantham, R-Cañon City, on opening day. (SOS photo)
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and Senate President Kevin Grantham, R-Cañon City, on opening day. (SOS photo)

I loved covering the Colorado legislature, first for the Rocky Mountain News and then for The Denver Post (except for some of those hearings or debates that never seemed to end).

My first session was in 2000 where the hottest committee was House Finance. Every lawmaker, it seemed, had an idea of how to cut taxes  to reduce that billion-dollar surplus. Yes, billion with a B. Such heady times, followed by such hard times.

Eventually the excitement of the opening days leads to exhaustion, frustration and drama.

“Often referred to as Gold Dome High School, the Capitol is a petri dish for hurt feelings, dust-ups and behavior lawmakers often regret,” I wrote in 2011, after the latest blow up.

When May finally rolls around, there’s relief and a tinge of sadness. That building really is so special, the people who work there — the lawmakers, the lobbyists, the staff, the janitors, the reporters — they all make it hum.

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From leadership to liberty: Secretary Wayne Williams takes part

By Keara Brosnan

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams was the keynote speaker Saturday at the Otero County Lincoln Day Dinner. (Photo by Jace Ratzlaff)
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams delivered the keynote address Saturday at the Otero County Lincoln Day Dinner. (Photo by Jace Ratzlaff)

Saturday was a Wayne Williams kind of day.

In the morning, the Colorado secretary of state attended the Leadership Program of the Rockies’ annual retreat in Colorado Springs where he met a Medal of Honor recipient. That evening, he delivered the keynote address at the Otero County Lincoln Day Dinner in La Junta.

Williams’ next local speaking engagement is Tuesday when he will address the DTC Kiwanis Club. The breakfast at Mimi’s in Lone Tree begins at 7 a.m.

Williams thanked Otero County Republicans for helping him win the secretary of state’s race in 2014. He received 54 percent of the vote in Otero County compared to Democrat Joe Neguse’s 33 percent. Statewide, Williams beat Neguse by 2.2 percentage points.

“I have fought for our right to vote in the legislature and on the ground level. I care deeply about our right to vote and protecting the integrity of our election processes,” he said. “That’s why I chose to run for Colorado secretary of state.”

Read moreFrom leadership to liberty: Secretary Wayne Williams takes part

Pueblo: home of heroes and a harmonious legislative delegation

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and state representatives Daneya Esgar and Clarice Navarro of Pueblo show off the salsa they received for talking to the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Pueblo class Thursday at the University Club in Denver. (Secretary of State)

Pueblo’s up-and-coming leaders met with their lawmakers and other elected officials, including Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, during a visit to the state Capitol on Thursday.

The visitors are part of the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Pueblo 2016 class that began in January with a two-day retreat in Trinidad and ends in May.

Lobbyist Patrick Boyle addressed the Leadership Pueblo class about the role of lobbyists at theCapitol. At a lunch at the University Club, he said the Pueblo delegation is unique among the lawmakers because despite partisan differences the focus has always been on helping folks in their southern Colorado community.

Rep. Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo, echoed that sentiment. “I have colleagues jealous of the work we do together,” she said.

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