Vail’s Kerry Donovan launches 2018 Colorado state Senate re-election bid | VailDaily.com

Vail’s Kerry Donovan launches 2018 Colorado state Senate re-election bid

EDWARDS — Kerry Donovan loves her job and wants to keep doing it.

Donovan, the Colorado state senator from District 5, announced that she is running for re-election.

The Vail native climbed in her pickup truck and drove Colorado's entire seven-county Senate District 5, making the announcement repeatedly in each county. She said she loves the drive and loves the job, calling it "the best job I've every had."

"Senate District 5 is a microcosm of Colorado. It embodies the Colorado spirit," she said.

She started Tuesday, Oct. 17, in Aspen and Pitkin County and rolled through Paonia, Delta, Lake City, Gunnison, Poncha Springs, through Leadville and wrapped up the tour in an Eagle coffee shop in the morning and an Edwards brewpub at happy hour. Donovan's Lake City event drew 40 people, a significant crowd in a town that the U.S. Census Bureau says is home to 374 souls. The lifelong Democrat said she also saw a significant number of Republicans and unaffiliated voters.

She said she also loves her senate district because it's the "prettiest" and because it's competitive.

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Colorado's four geographic corners are all represented in the state senate by Republicans. Four Democrats represent Denver.

Senate District 5 is Colorado's middle ground, both geographically and politically, says the Colorado Secretary of State.

• 104,950: Total voters

• 93,172: Active voters

• 26,749: Democrats

• 28,328: Republicans

• 36,304: Unaffiliated

The rest are spread among Libertarians and other parties.

Donovan narrowly defeated Republican Don Suppes in a hard-fought race to win her seat. Not coincidentally, she announced her re-election bid a year to the day before ballots will be mailed for the 2018 election.

"You have to fight for this seat if you want to keep it," she said.

It's not the money, she said. State lawmakers' annual salary is $30,000. The former Vail Town Council member said she cut her public-service teeth following her parents, John and Diana Donovan, and their work building Vail as a community.

"Vail is what it is because of what people do," she said.

The capitol rewards hard work, she said, which is both wonderful and frustrating.

She won a $9.4 million chess match when she managed to slip a spending item into the state budget that will fund broadband for rural Colorado. She had introduced a bill that would accomplish much the same thing, but that bill was funneled to a hostile committee that killed it, she said.

The broadband budget item was three lines long. Donovan smiled as she did the math: That's $3.1 million per line, a pretty good return on her constituents' time, she said.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

Counties in Colorado’s Senate District 5

• Chaffee

• Delta

• Eagle

• Gunnison

• Hinsdale

• Lake

• Pitkin