Colorado’s Ken Kester: “How a public servant should be”

The life of the late Sen. Ken Kester, known for his humor , effectiveness and support for southeastern Colorado, was celebrated Monday at separate events in Las Animas and Cañon City. (Facebook: Dan Kester)

Covering the Colorado legislature was a blast and I was always reluctant to single out a favorite lawmaker because I liked so many of them, but on April 11, 2005 I  came clean.

“Do you have a favorite legislator? ” Colorado Pols, a new blog that was a must read for politicos, asked me in a Q & A.

“My press colleagues and lawmakers always tease me about Sen. Ken Kester,” was my answer. “He was so much fun in the House and he is a riot in the Senate.”

And it was true. How could you resist a guy who couldn’t resist having some fun with fellow Sen. Jim Isgar over a sex education bill.

“Isgar told me’s coming out with a bill where you’ll have driver’s training and sex education in the same car,” Kester deadpanned.

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U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner’s son Thatcher steals the show — again

U.S. Sen. Cory and his wife, Jaime, and their children Thatcher, 5, Caitlyn, 2, and Alyson, 13, at the San Luis Valley Lincoln Day Dinner in Alamosa Saturday night. (SOS)

Once again, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner’s son has upstaged him, this time at the San Luis Valley Lincoln Day Dinner in Alamosa Saturday night.

Two years ago, Thatcher Gardner stole the show from state Senate President Bill Cadman at the Colorado Republican Party’s Centennial Dinner in the metro area. Thatcher was 3 at the time when he kept mimicking Cadman; he’s now 5 as he was happy to remind his dad.

Thatcher Gardner proudly displays where his tooth used to be. (SOS)

Gardner, the featured speaker at the dinner, was telling the crowd about when his son had worked on a school project that asked for favorite color and such. Thatcher, who was seated at the head table, was intent on his computer game.

“I think he was 4 at the time,” Gardner said.

“I’m 5,” Thatcher said, without looking up.

It was the second time the boy addressed the dinner.

The first time was when Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams spoke, after being introduced by Alamosa County Commissioner  Darius Allen, who praised Williams. Allen said when Williams served on the El Paso County Board of Commissioners he looked out for small, rural counties and was the commissioners’ go-to-guy on transportation. Williams talked about elections — and transportation.

“I didn’t care what affiliation the road was when it had a pothole in it,” Williams said, resulting in a big “Ha!” from Thatcher that drew a laugh from the crowd.

Read moreU.S. Sen. Cory Gardner’s son Thatcher steals the show — again

Secretary of State Williams talks elections with Prowers County clerk, residents

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams stands behind the Prowers County clerk and recorder staff. They are, left to right, Elizabeth Hainer, Laurie Downing, Beatrice Romero, Jana Coen (County Clerk), Shauna Millspaugh, Vickie Parker and Dan Monson.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams stands behind the Prowers County clerk and recorder staff. They are, left to right, Elizabeth Hainer, Laurie Downing, Beatrice Romero, Clerk Jana Coen, Shauna Millspaugh, Vickie Parker and Dan Monson.

Secretary of State Wayne Williams met Tuesday with local residents and Prowers County Clerk Jana Coen in the second stop of three town-hall meetings in southeastern Colorado.

“It was good,” Coen said, of the secretary’s visit to Lamar. “He asked if his office was providing the services we need, and I told him they are.”

Williams earlier in the day visited with Baca County residents, and after Lamar he headed to Eads for a town hall meeting in Kiowa County.

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Baca County to Secretary Williams: Howdy, partner

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and other elected officials participated in a town hall this morning in Baca County. From left to right: state Sen. Larry Crowder, Assessor Gayla Thompson. Williams, Treasurer Susan Cochell, Sheriff Dave Campbell and County Clerk Sharon Dubois. (Photo by Sarah Steinman, Plains Herald)
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and other elected officials participated in a town hall this morning in Baca County. From left to right: state Sen. Larry Crowder, Assessor Gayla Thompson, Williams, Treasurer Susan Cochell, Sheriff Dave Campbell and County Clerk Sharon Dubois. (Photo by Sarah Steinman, Plainsman Herald)

It’s 260 miles from Denver to Baca County in the southeastern most part of the state so you can bet that the citizens there appreciated a visit today from Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams.

“It was great,” said County Clerk Sharon Dubois. “I introduced Wayne to everyone — of course, it’s Baca County so I knew everyone.”

Williams, other county elected officials and state Sen. Larry Crowder participated in a town hall meeting at the courthouse in Springfield.

Baca — which the locals and longtime Coloradans pronounce Back-uh —  boasts a population of 3,682 people and the towns of Springfield, Walsh, Campo, Prichett, Two Buttes and Vilas. It borders New Mexico, Oklahoma and Kansas. Baca County is so remote that Dubois said she tells new ministers it probably feels like they’re on a mission.

“We’re closer to Amarillo, Texas, than we are to Pueblo,” she said. “But we’re still Colorado. I just wish they’d quit standing in front of Springfield when they give the weather report.”

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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