Wilson won’t seek election to new House seat | AspenTimes.com

Wilson won’t seek election to new House seat

John Stroud
Post Independent
Aspen, CO Colorado

Rep. Roger Wilson

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – State Rep. Roger Wilson has decided to call it good after his term as the House District 61 representative comes to an end next year.

A week after the Colorado Supreme Court approved a reapportionment map that put Wilson, D-Glenwood Springs, into the newly redrawn House District 57, he said he will not be a candidate for re-election to the state Legislature in November 2012.

“After consulting with my family, friends and advisers, I have decided not to seek elected office for either House District 57 or Senate District 8,” Wilson said in a press release issued on Monday.

Under the final reapportionment plan OK’d by the Supreme Court on Dec. 12, Wilson, who lives on Missouri Heights in eastern Garfield County, was drawn out of District 61, the seat to which he was elected in November 2010.

District 61, as currently configured, includes the Garfield County communities of New Castle, Glenwood Springs and Carbondale, plus the Basalt/El Jebel portion of Eagle County and all of Pitkin, Gunnison and Hinsdale counties.

Starting with the November 2012 election, the new District 57 will now include all of Garfield, Rio Blanco and Moffat counties.

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District 61, meanwhile, will include Pitkin, Lake, Summit and part of Gunnison and Delta counties, while all of Eagle County will be joined with Routt County in the new House District 26.

Wilson would have the opportunity to run for election to the Legislature in either HD 57, or for the newly redrawn Colorado Senate District 8, which will include all of Garfield County.

“I have been humbled by the support I have received, and by those who believe I should continue to serve Colorado in the Legislature after 2012,” Wilson said in the press release.

“I will instead seek other positions and roles to represent and work for the interests of the people, the land and the water of western Colorado,” he said, without being specific as to what that might entail.

Wilson will continue to serve the current HD-61 through the upcoming legislative session, which opens in January.

During his short time in the Legislature, Wilson has championed numerous Western Slope issues, including water quality, tourism and economic growth.

He currently sits on the House Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee and the Economic and Business Development Committee. Recently, he was also appointed to the state Scenic and Historic Byways Commission.

“Roger is a hard-working legislator and incredibly knowledgeable on a range of tough issues,” Rep. Mark Ferrandino, the House minority leader, said in the press release. “I’m glad we’ll still have him in the Democratic caucus in 2012 and hope his voice continues to be heard on the issues Coloradans care about.”

Wilson’s decision means next year’s race for the HD 57 seat will be wide open. Current Republican District 57 Rep. Randy Baumgardner, who recently relocated from Grand to Jackson County, will now be in the newly reconfigured HD 13.

Both the Republican and Democratic parties in the new HD 57 will be looking for candidates during the upcoming nomination process. In Garfield County, the Republican Party caucuses are slated for Feb. 7, while county Democrats are slated to have their caucus on March 6, according to Garfield County Clerk and Recorder Jean Alberico.

jstroud@postindependent.com