Miller to leave state House |

Miller to leave state House

Jane Stebbins

State Rep. Carl Miller of Leadville is likely moving to the Public Utilities Commission and resigning his legislative office.The 65-year-old Leadville Democrat, who represents Summit, Lake and Eagle counties, is waiting for an official announcement from the governor’s office appointing him to the PUC. The PUC makes rulings on public utility rate changes and consumer issues.Democratic leaders said Summit County Commissioner Gary Lindstrom, a Democratic candidate for Miller’s seat, would be appointed to the vacancy. Summit County Democrats would then name a replacement for his county commissioner seat.Since there are no more legislative sessions before this November’s election, Lindstrom will not actually serve as a state lawmaker.”This could easily be the shortest legislative term in history,” said Lemon. “There’s no political advantage for him.”Lemon said if only 170 votes had shifted from Miller to her, she she would have beaten the three-term incumbent, “a man I highly respect and like.”Lindstrom is term limited in his current county commissioner’s seat, and could not run for re-election when his term is up in two years. He ran as an independent two years ago. His only opponent was from the Green Party. If he loses to Lemon, he’s out of a job.Lindstrom’s name will appear at the top of the ballot against Lemon, because his appointment makes him, technically, the incumbent.The House District 56 Vacancy Committee has until July 11 to appoint someone to Miller’s seat – which Chairman Sandy Briggs of Frisco said would be Lindstrom. Briggs also serves as chairman of the Summit County Vacancy Committee that would have to appoint somebody to Lindstrom’s vacant county commissioners seat.Three people – former Breckenridge Town Councilman Michael Bertaux, Summit County attorney Bob French and Michael Craig – have formally expressed interest in the commissioner seat. A fourth person, whom Briggs declined to name, might also throw his or her hat in the ring.The Summit County Democratic Executive Committee will interview those people and appoint one in the early part of July to fill the remaining two years of Lindstrom’s seat.The Miller announcement was supposed to be made last week, but discussions surrounding a possible legislative special session delayed it.If Miller is appointed to the PUC, his last day as state representative for District 56 will be July 1. After almost 30 years in Lake County and statewide politics, Miller is being forced out of office by constitutional law and was due to give up his seat regardless Dec. 31.”This was an opportunity I could not pass up,” Miller said. “And I’ve got to stay active. I don’t see any elected office in front of me, but I want to stay active.”Miller is a conservative Democrat whose views sided him more often than not with the Republicans in the state Capitol. Miller started in politics as a Lake County commissioner from 1977 to 1989 before he was elected to the state House in 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2002. His current term would expire in six months under state term limitations.During his tenure, he has served on the Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources, Information and Technology and Capital Development committees.

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