Eagle County commissioner Jill Ryan running for Colorado statehouse
July 28, 2017
EDWARDS — A second Democrat has jumped into the regional race for Colorado's state House of Representatives.
Eagle County Commissioner Jill Ryan joins Eagle County Deputy District Attorney and Steamboat Springs native Dylan Roberts in the race to represent Colorado's House District 26, composed of Eagle and Routt counties.
Ryan, a two-term Eagle County commissioner, made her announcement on Friday.
Diane Mitsch Bush, a Steamboat Springs Democrat who is running for the U.S. House of Representatives against Republican Scott Tipton, currently holds the seat.
The election is Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.
In her announcement, Ryan said her goal is to continue her work on health care, transportation, affordable housing, early-childhood development, water conservation, broadband access and climate action at the state level.
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"These issues are vital to maintaining our way of life and to our economic health," Ryan said.
Ryan cites her policy experience at the state and local level as qualifications to succeed Mitch Bush.
"I have testified on behalf of several of Diane's bills, especially around transportation and health care," Ryan said.
Ryan is the past vice president of the Colorado Board of Health and vice chairperson of the Interstate 70 Coalition and Colorado's Intermountain Transportation Planning Region. She also sits on the board of the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization.
Ryan is lining up endorsements from Democratic lawmakers already in the statehouse.
"Commissioner Ryan understands the nuances of the state budget, including competing constitutional amendments and how legislation works within these constraints," said Millie Hamner, who chairs the state joint budget committee.
House Speaker Pro Tempore Jessie Danielson praised what she called Ryan's "leadership and policymaking abilities."
"She will be a strong voice for protecting our environment, investing in great schools and building an economy that works for everyone," Danielson said in a written statement.
Ryan earned a master's degree in public health and owns a public health consulting firm. She is the past manager of Eagle County's public health department and has a 10-year tenure with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. She lives in Edwards with her husband and son.
Interim to be appointed
Mitsch Bush told the Steamboat Pilot & Today on July 6 she would follow through with her legislative commitments on the Interim Transportation Legislation Review and Interim Water Resources Review committees, vetting prospective bills this fall. She said when that work is done, she will resign her seat.
Democratic party members from Eagle and Routt counties will convene a vacancy committee to name an interim state representative to be sworn in and serve out the balance of Mitsch Bush's two-year term. She was re-elected in 2016.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.