Secretary Williams, “you’ve run a tip-top operation”

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, left, with Rep. Bob Rankin, R-Carbondale, and two SOS staffers, elections director Judd Choate and IT director Trevor Timmons, during Friday’s meeting before the Joint Budget Committee. (SOS photo)

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams received plenty of praise during his final appearances before two legislative committees, where he highlighted the office’s achievements and challenges.

The El Paso County Republican presented his budget requests to the legislature’s Joint Budget Committee Friday morning, and later in the afternoon he discussed performance plans, regulatory and legislative agendas, and budget requests as part of the SMART Act hearing.

Legislative aide, Michael Templeton, who works for Sen. Lois Court, a Denver Democrat, center, and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams. (SOS photo)

“I’ve had the opportunity to work very closely with you and your office on a variety of issues over the years,” Sen. Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City, and the chairman of the Joint Budget Committee, told Williams.

“I have to say, you’ve run a tip-top operation.”

Lawmakers on the the Joint State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee were equally complimentary later that day.

“I just want to thank you for your years of service to Colorado and the excellent job you’ve done as our secretary of state and how hard I know you’ve worked to be bipartisan as much as you can be,” said Sen. Lois Court, D-Denver.

“That takes a lot to do the kind of work you’ve done and to try to work as hard as you have across the aisle and I absolutely appreciate it, so thank you.”

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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.”

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Secretary of State Wayne Williams outlines agency’s goals, achievements at SMART act hearing

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, second from left, tells lawmakers from the House and Senate State Affairs committees about the agency's operation. With him are Tim Griesmer, Chief of Staff Gary Zimmerman and Deputy Secretary of State Suzanne Staiert.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, second from left, tells lawmakers from the House and Senate State Affairs committees about the agency’s operation. With him are legislative director Tim Griesmer, Chief of Staff Gary Zimmerman and Deputy Secretary of State Suzanne Staiert.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams told lawmakers Tuesday that when he took office in January he inherited a cutting-edge operation that other states are looking to emulate.

He credited previous secretaries of state — Williams is the sixth person in 10 years to hold the office — for the staffers they hired and the programs they instituted for creating an operation that has won several prestigious awards.

The awards are nice, Williams said, but said “the real goal is serving the people of Colorado.”

Read moreSecretary of State Wayne Williams outlines agency’s goals, achievements at SMART act hearing