Secretary Williams touts one-time rival, Joe Neguse, for cabinet post

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams presents his one-time campaign rival, Joe Neguse, for confirmation as head of the Department of Regulatory Agencies before a Senate committee Wednesday.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams presents his one-time campaign rival, Joe Neguse, for confirmation as head of the Department of Regulatory Agencies before a Senate committee Wednesday.

They campaigned against each other for secretary of state, but on Wednesday Republican Wayne Williams and Democrat Joe Neguse sat side by side in a Senate confirmation hearing, praising each other.

Williams, who beat Neguse by 2.2 percentage points, took office in January 2015. Gov. John Hickenlooper last spring appointed Neguse to head the Department of Regulatory Agencies, better known as DORA. The post requires Senate confirmation, which is why Neguse appeared before the state Senate Business, Labor and Technology Committee.

Neguse sailed through the hearing after Williams and members of the Republican-controlled committee praised his performance. Neguse’s confirmation now goes before the full Senate where it has been deemed such a sure thing it was put on what is called the consent calendar, where all 35 senators are expected to be “yes” votes.

“Politics often sounds nasty,” Williams said, referring to the recent Iowa caucus.

“And that’s a different level of dialogue than Americans and Coloradans really want and I am here as kind  of a testament that you can run a campaign without wallowing in the mud or engaging in rancor.  Joe and I had the opportunity to both run for secretary of state for more than a year and as we went across the state and showed up at different forums. There were some things we disagreed on but there were also a lot of things we agreed on. And we did throughout the campaign keep it civil.”

Read moreSecretary Williams touts one-time rival, Joe Neguse, for cabinet post