Colorado Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne hits the ground running — and dancing

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne after she visited his office today. (SOS photo)
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne after she visited his office today. (SOS photo)

Colorado’s newest lieutenant governor has already appointed a judge, learned how to do the Ute tribal bear dance and reached out to her other colleagues in the executive branch, including Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams.

Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne has met with Williams, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman and Treasurer Walker Stapleton, as well as various lawmakers and cabinet secretaries.

“I want to extend my hand and my ear,” Lynne said, after her meeting today with the secretary of state in his office.

“I appreciate Donna’s reaching out,” Williams said, “and I look forward to working with her to help Colorado government offer better service to its citizens.”

Read moreColorado Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne hits the ground running — and dancing

Colorado welcomes a new lieutenant governor

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and Gov. John Hickenlooper flank new Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne after she was sworn into office May 12 at the state Capitol. (Bernard Grant/Special to the SOS)
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and Gov. John Hickenlooper flank new Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne after she was sworn into office May 12 at the state Capitol. (Bernard Grant/Special to the SOS)

Donna Lynne officially became Colorado’s 49th lieutenant governor after she took the oath of office at the state Capitol in front of friends, family and a whole lot of political folks.

Lynne told Gov. John Hickenlooper during the ceremony on Thursday it was a good thing he didn’t choose her as his running mate when he first ran for governor in 2010 because her maiden name was Schleinkofer.  The idea of a Hickenlooper-Schleinkofer ticket got a laugh during the light-hearted ceremony.

Hickenlooper picked Joe Garcia, the president of Colorado State University-Pueblo,  to run with him on the Democratic ticket, and the pair was re-elected in 2014. Garcia announced last fall he was returning to education, and Hickenlooper in March announced Lynne would  succeed Garcia.

Read moreColorado welcomes a new lieutenant governor

Happy Trails, Keara Brosnan

Keara Brosnan, center, served as an intern and aide for the Colorado Secretary of State office's communications department. She is touring the award-winning Ink Monstr in this photo from the company.
Keara Brosnan, center, served as an intern and aide for the Colorado Secretary of State office’s communications department. She is touring the award-winning Ink Monstr in this photo from the company.

Today I say good-bye to my intern, my techie and my friend. I’ll miss you Keara Brosnan.

You know you’ve selected the right intern when you both quote the same lines from “Napoléon Dynamite,” including, “Tina, you fat lard. Come get some dinner.”

When Keara came to the Secretary of  State’s office for her interview last fall she said everybody calls her Kiki because no one can pronounced Keara. I should have taken that as a clue but I insisted we go with Keara. I found myself saying over and over again, “Key,” like a car key, “air,” like what we breathe, “uh,” as in uh huh.

By the time she accompanied Secretary of State Wayne Williams last month on a breathtakingly beautiful road trip — Hinsdale, Rio Grande and Garfield counties — he almost had the name down.

Keara, 22, graduated from the University of Denver in March with a degree in strategic communications. She is from the bay area in California.

Read moreHappy Trails, Keara Brosnan

Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia: one tough cookie

Far be it from a snowboarding wipeout to stop Lt. Joe Garcia from performing a variety of duties.

Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia talks to the University of Colorado Board of Regents with a sling on his injured shoulder. (Michael Carrigan photo)
Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia talks to the University of Colorado Board of Regents with a sling on his injured shoulder. (Michael Carrigan photo)

The crash happened on Feb. 13 in the Grand Tetons when Garcia was snowboarding with his youngest son. Garcia couldn’t get in to see a surgeon until nearly a week later, on Feb. 19, to repair his separated shoulder and torn ligaments.

“I’m still staying pretty busy,” said Garcia, who doubles as Colorado’s lieutenant governor and director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education, posts he plans to give up before July 1.

Garcia had planned the trip to Wyoming to see his 26-year-old son Jose a long time ago. “My youngest son was telling me how great the snowboarding was,” Garcia said. The trip turned out to be on the same day as the Colorado Democratic Party’s Jefferson Jackson dinner, which is why Garcia missed speeches by presidential contenders Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

“But we ended up in a bad situation,” he said today of the outing. “It was unbelievably foggy whiteout conditions where we couldn’t even see the ground I was standing on. It was very disorienting. ”

Garcia said he didn’t even know he was falling until he hit the icy ground “so hard” he realized right away that his shoulder was “popped.”

Joe Garcia: the coolest lieutenant governor, the hippest hot tamale

Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia leads the Ignacio Bikers parade in 2011. (Photo Steve Lewis/Durango Herald/used with permission)
Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia leads the Ignacio Bikers parade in 2011. (Photo Steve Lewis/Durango Herald/used with permission)

Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia surprised Colorado today,  announcing he will step down some time next year to pursue his passion in higher education.

Garcia, the former president of Colorado State University-Pueblo, will become president of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.

Since taking office in 2011 with Gov. John Hickenlooper, Garcia has been an unconventional lite gov.

Garcia also serves as the director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education, which means the governor likely will have two jobs to fill.

Garcia is known for his sense of humor. When Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock were out of town, Garcia and City Attorney Scott Martinez were in charge of their government agencies. Garcia tweeted out their pictures and said “First move. Pueblo is now state Capitol.  What else?” Martinez tweeted, “Two hot tamales in charge. New law: Green chile is the official city and state fruit.”

Read moreJoe Garcia: the coolest lieutenant governor, the hippest hot tamale