Jerry Kopel

Newcomers in the Legislature

January 20, 2007

By Jerry Kopel

"Newcomers Flood the Legislature" was a headline on the Denver Post editorial page on Monday, January 8th. That would be accurate except it was followed by the first paragraph of  the column:
"The 66th General Assembly convening Wednesday, will have more newcomers than any legislature since Colorado granted statehood in 1876."
Sorry, but that is totally wrong. The first year I served in the legislature was in 1965. With the presidential tailspin of the Goldwater campaign, Colorado not only voted for Lyndon Johnson for president, they also voted in 44, yes, that is forty-four fresh faces including mine, seven in the Senate and 37 in the House.
In the House, the fresh faces were 26 Democrats and 11 Republicans. In the Senate, I do not count legislators who came over from the House. That leaves seven new faces, five Democrats and two Republicans.
The Republicans still controlled the Senate, but the House was Democratic, 42 to 23.
New House Democrats were Frank Anaya, D.J. Arnold, John Baer, Don Brinton, John Carroll, Chuck DeMoulin, Tom Farley, Rich Gebhardt, C.J. Gillaspey, Joe Gollob, Vic Grandy, Dan Grove, Jerry Kopel, James LaHaye, Archie Lisco, J.D. MacFarlane, Betty Miller, Ken Monfort, R.E. O'Brien, Louis Rinaldo, Hub Safran, Darrell Skelton, Don Strait, Tom Wailes, John Wheeler, and Jerry Yost.
New House Republicans were Ralph Cole,George Fentress, Bill Foster, Harris Hart, George Jackson, Tom Jordan, Paul Morris, John Schafer, Ted Schubert, Keith Singer and Marvin Woolf.
New Senate Democrats were Roger Cisneros, John Donlon, David Hahn, Tony Vollack, and Allen Williams. New Senate Republicans were Jim Perrill and Ed Scott.
I cannot even tell you that 44 was the highest number ever. Going through every term of office since 1876 to pick out who is new and who hasn't served sometime in the past, has never been done.
(Jerry Kopel served 22 years in the Colorado House.) 

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