Secretary of State Wayne Williams inspires Inspire Colorado

Secretary of State Wayne Williams with four of the students who attended the Inspire Colorado event Monday night at History Colorado. From left to right: Robin Peterson, 17, Peak to Peak charter school; Torey Wyman, 17, and Tatum Wallis, 16, South High School; and Lila Jordan, 16, Denver School of Science and Technology, Cole campus. (SOS photo)
Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne. (SOS photo)

Should 16-year-olds be allowed to vote? What is Colorado doing about climate change? What do you see as the top priorities in government?

Those are some the issues that arose Monday night when Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne and four state lawmakers talked to a crowd of teen-agers at Inspire Colorado’s youth engagement forum about the importance of voting and being involved.

Inspire Colorado is a student-driven program that focuses on leadership, democracy and community. The students have encouraged their high school peers to register to vote, and others to participate in elections.

Lynne noted that she’s 63 and has never missed voting in an election. She brought up the discussion about 16-year-olds voting, after earlier being asked by a high school journalist if she supported the move.

And she also noted that a number of the participants at History Colorado were female.

“Wayne, what are we going to do about that?” she asked. The secretary of state, the father of two daughters, was cheered when he responded, “Celebrate it!”

Read moreSecretary of State Wayne Williams inspires Inspire Colorado

And another era begins at the Colorado General Assembly

Four of the new House Democrats elected on Tuesday gather at the state Capitol Thursday for a caucus meeting and leadership election. From left to right: Matt Gray of Broomfield, Don Sanchez of xxx and Chris Kennedy of Lakewood. (SOS photo)
Four of the new House Democrats elected on Tuesday gather at the state Capitol Thursday for a caucus meeting and leadership election. From left to right: Matt Gray of Broomfield, Donald Valdez of La Jara, Edie Hooten of Boulder and Chris Kennedy of Lakewood. (SOS photo)

For the second election in a row, an Adams County Republican has given the party control of the state Senate.

There were plenty of handshakes and hugs Thursday at the state Capitol when Kevin Priola of Henderson showed up. Priola, a state representative, defeated Democrat Jenise May, a former state representative, 52 percent to 47 percent in unofficial returns.

Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik of Thornton and Sen.-elect Kevin Priola of Henderson. The two Adams County Republicans helped their party take the majority in the state Senate. (SOS photo)
Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik of Thornton and Sen.-elect Kevin Priola of Henderson. The two Adams County Republicans helped their party take the majority in the state Senate. (SOS photo)

This is always a fascinating time under the Gold Dome. Two days after the general election, returning members and the freshly elected show up to pick caucus leaders, schmooze, celebrate and console.

It’s a disappointing day for the losing side. House Republicans saw three incumbents defeated, and Democrats next year will have a 37-28 majority. Senate Democrats are again in the minority and again by one seat, 18-17.

House Republicans chose one of the more conservative members of the caucus, Patrick Neville of Castle Rock, as minority leader. It’s not a term Neville embraces.

“I’m the Republican leader,”  he said.

Read moreAnd another era begins at the Colorado General Assembly

Back to back, Colorado House Republicans celebrate births

Rep. Kevin Priola, R-Henderson, and his wife, Michelle, introduced their youngest, Cora Gabrielle, to her older brother and sisters a day after she was born.
Rep. Kevin Priola, R-Henderson, and his wife, Michelle, introduced their youngest, Cora Gabrielle, to her older brother and sisters a day after she was born.
Joel Malecka, spokesman for the House Republicans, and his newborn son, Calvin Frederic.
Joel Malecka, spokesman for the House Republicans, and his newborn son, Calvin Frederic.

It’s been a prolific few days for House Republicans and we’re talking babies, not bills.

Rep. Kevin Priola of Henderson and his wife Michelle on Friday welcomed their fourth child, Cora Gabrielle, who weighed 8 pounds, 7 ounces. Two days earlier, Joel Malecka, the spokesman for the House GOP caucus, and his wife Amy welcomed Calvin Frederick, who weighed 6 pounds 11 ounces. It is their first child.

They are the latest in a spree of Colorado politicos announcing births in the last year. The next newborn to appear on this page likely will be Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams’ first grandchild, due at the end of the week.

Priola is the second Colorado politico to choose the name “Cora” for his daughter. In 2014, Democratic Congressman Jared Polis and his partner Marlon Reis announced a baby girl had joined their family. I promptly nicknamed her “Cora Request.” It’s a journalism thing, you know, the Colorado Open Records Act.

Read moreBack to back, Colorado House Republicans celebrate births