Secretary Williams and Monty Python

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams addressed the elections staff Wednesday, a day after the general election. (SOS photo)

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.

Read moreSecretary Williams and Monty Python

Secretary Williams to present award to Ouray High School

Evan Vann, a junior at Ouray High School, helped his school receive an award for voter registration.

When Evan Vann approached his fellow students at Ouray High School and asked if they wanted to preregister to vote, he got some lukewarm receptions.

“A few them said they really had no interest,” Vann recalled. “One of them told me, ‘I really don’t plan on voting — ever.'”

But Evan persisted, which is why Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams on Saturday will present the Eliza Pickrell Routt award to Ouray High School for its outstanding voter registration efforts. The award is given to schools where more than 85 percent of eligible seniors are registered to vote.

The presentation will be made at Ouray’s senior high school banquet. Vann, a junior, will be present.

Colorado is one of 11 states that allows residents as young as 16 to preregister to vote. The group Inspire Colorado has been working around the state to make it happen.

“Achieving the award at a smaller school is an impressive feat,” said Inspire Colorado’s Ryan Drysdale. “At Ouray, Evan and his teachers had to register nearly a dozen seniors in order to reach 85 percent.”

Read moreSecretary Williams to present award to Ouray High School

“I’m so blessed that she said yes”

Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Williams, who were married Dec. 20, 1986. (Williams photo)
Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Williams, who were married Dec. 20, 1986. (Williams photo)

Happy anniversary to Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Williams, who were wed 30 years ago today.

Wayne Williams and Holly Brown first met at Brigham Young University, then reconnected in Washington, D.C, where they went on 60 dates in 60 days. He proposed to Holly on a mountain overlooking the Shenandoah Valley, where Wayne grew up. The couple was married six months later in the Washington temple.

The couple moved to Colorado Springs in 1992 and immediately got involved in Republican politics.

Holly served on the El Paso County Republican Executive Committee, and when Wayne ran for chairman in 1997 many knew him as “Holly’s husband.” Gov. Bill Owens appointed Holly as the El Paso County public trustee in 1999 and when Wayne was elected county commissioner in 2002 many still referred to him as “Holly’s husband.” In 2014 Wayne was elected Colorado secretary of state.

Wayne and Holly are the parents of Sean, Gregory Alaric, Lindsey and Wendy — two are still in college — and the grandparents of Mikaya Rose.

Perhaps the best anniversary gift they are getting is that the entire family will be in Colorado Springs to spend Christmas together.

“’Holly’s husband’ and ‘Dad’ are my two favorite titles,” Wayne said. “I’m so blessed that she said yes.”

Colorado’s county treasurers and their taxing problem with the press

County treasurers Brita Horn of Routt County, Irene Josey of Larimer County and Paul Weissmann of Boulder County at the treasurers' association meeting today in Fort Collins. (SOS photo)
County treasurers Brita Horn of Routt County, Irene Josey of Larimer County and Paul Weissmann of Boulder County at the treasurers’ association meeting today in Fort Collins. (SOS photo)

As somebody who spent 35 years as a journalist, it’s painful to hear a litany of elected state treasurers describe their problems with the press over the years. Misquotes. Bias. And even having their letters to the editors changed.

Still, it was a privilege to address the Colorado County Treasurers’ Association and the Public Trustee Association of Colorado today at their conference in Fort Collins. And a relief to know that sometimes county commissioners also can be difficult to deal with. (That’s a joke. My boss used to be a commissioner.)

Appearing on the media panel with me were Nick Coltrain, a reporter with the Fort Collins Coloradoan, and Keagan Harsha, a reporter and anchor for Fox31.  The topic: “What you can’t — or think you can’t — control.”

Some of our advice: Turn to social media when needed, assume you’re being tape recorded and don’t duck the press even if you can’t give much of a statement. And try to repair relationships with reporters. It will benefit you in the long run.

Read moreColorado’s county treasurers and their taxing problem with the press

Wayne Williams’ new title: Grandpa

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams holds his first grandchild, Mikaya Rose.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams holds his first grandchild, Mikaya Rose.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams this month added another title to his name: Grandpa.

Mikaya Rose Williams was born March 11, weighing in at 7 pounds 14 ounces and measuring 20 inches. Her parents, Gregory Alaric and Cassidy Williams, could not be more excited.

Gregory Alaric and Cassidy Williams and their daughter, Mikaya Rose.
Gregory Alaric and Cassidy Williams and their daughter, Mikaya Rose.

The secretary and his wife, Holly, traveled to Utah last week to visit their first grandchild.

He joked that every now and then he was able to get their granddaughter away from Holly so he could hold her.

Wayne and Holly Williams have four children: Sean, Gregory Alaric, Lindsey and Wendy.

At 3:24 a.m. on March 12, Lindsey posted of a picture of herself and her niece on her Facebook page: “Oh, Mikaya Rose, you are so beautiful! I’m so glad you are here. I love you sobriña!”