News in Brief
ASPEN ” A man wanted in Texas for motor vehicle theft was arrested by Aspen police early Saturday morning.
Alex Lopez, 23, was wanted on a $100,000 bond warrant from Texas, when he was questioned at 12:20 a.m. Saturday by Aspen police for a disturbance at Club Chelsea.
According to police, Lopez presented his Texas Department of Corrections identification card when asked for ID in order to enter Club Chelsea.
When bouncers denied Lopez entry, he got into an altercation with the bouncers, who asked him to leave. When Lopez wouldn’t leave, the bouncers called the police.
Though Lopez had left by the time police arrived, they later found him in the area and questioned him about the incident. Sgt. Bill Linn said Lopez gave police his prison ID as identification.
“You actually take note when someone hands you their prison card as ID,” Linn said. “If that’s the best you’ve got, then I need to pay attention.”
Lopez is being held in the Pitkin County jail on the $100,000 bond, and likely will be transported to Texas to face charges there.
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” A Grand County Republican has filed state paperwork to become a candidate to succeed fellow party member Al White in the Colorado House of Representatives’ 57th District.
“I guess I’m official,” said Randy Baumgardner, a Hot Sulphur Springs Colorado Department of Transportation employee and rancher.
Ed Sands, chairman of the Garfield County Democratic Party, said the party has been talking to prospective candidates, but none of them wants to go public at this point.
Andy Gold, a Grand County Democrat who ran unsuccessfully against White in 2006, is leaning against another run.
“I haven’t totally ruled it out. If enough people give me a good reason to try again I would consider it. As of this time that hasn’t happened, surely not enough to want to go at it again,” he said.
“We didn’t have a whole heck of a lot of support from the party last time,” Gold added.
The Democratic Party didn’t focus on the race because the district is heavily Republican, and Gold was challenging someone who had served in the Legislature for six years.
White said Republicans have a 2-1 edge in registration in the district. District 57 includes western Garfield County, along with Rio Blanco, Moffat, Routt, Jackson and Grand counties.
White will be forced out of the seat by term limits at the end of next year. He is running for the state Senate seat now held by fellow Republican Jack Taylor of Steamboat Springs. Taylor also must leave his office because of term limits at the end of 2008.
Garfield County resident Phil Vaughan has been considering running for White’s seat. Vaughan, who owns a construction company and chairs the county Planning and Zoning Commission, also had mulled running for county commissioner next year. He dropped the idea after fellow Republican Mike Samson stepped forward to seek the western Garfield County seat now held by Republican Larry McCown. McCown has decided against running again.
Vaughan is the Republican Party chairman for the 57th District, making him responsible for helping find candidates for White’s seat.
“If there are others who are willing to run and we’re willing to step behind them, I’m happy to do that,” he said. “My name doesn’t have to be on the ballot.”
EAGLE COUNTY ” Eagle County’s state representative, Democrat Dan Gibbs, will officially resign and be sworn in as a state senator on Tuesday.
Gibbs, who represents Eagle, Summit and Lake counties, or District 56, was appointed to take the place of Colorado Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald, who resigned to run for Congress.
That means a vacancy committee has 10 days from Tuesday to choose a Democrat to take Gibb’s place.
Eagle County Democrats who have submitted their names for the spot are Rohn Robbins and Danny Padnick.
Gibbs will be sworn in at 10 a.m. in the Senate Chambers in Denver.
“I’d like to invite the community to come down,” he said. “I still have close ties to Eagle County even though I won’t be representing that area anymore.”
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Max Weintraub has been senior curator at the Aspen Art Museum since January 2019.