With Rippy leaving House, will Rippy run for House?
State Rep. Gregg Rippy, R-Glenwood Springs, is making a run for Congress, but that doesn’t mean there might not be a state Rep. Rippy next fall.Becky Rippy is strongly considering a run for Gregg Rippy’s seat for District 61 in the Colorado House of Representatives. She is Gregg Rippy’s cousin-in-law and New Castle town administrator Steve Rippy’s wife.Bekcy Rippy, 46, describes herself as a “Republican with independent roots,” and said she’s “been thinking about this for some time.”Since 2000, Bekcy Rippy has been a guardian ad litem assistant – serving children and families in dependency and neglect matters in Garfield County – with the law firm Tom Silverman & Associates in Glenwood Springs. She’s also been serving since 2001 as a special advocate for the 9th Judicial District Court, appointed to investigate and report in divorce and custody cases.From 1987 until her current work, Rippy was a mental health evaluator, treatment counselor and social services worker. Rippy said her background in child and family welfare could serve her well as a state representative.”It would be wonderful to be a voice for children and families,” she said.Rippy’s other interests include affordable housing, health care reform, Western Slope water and tort reform.”This kind of stuff really excites me,” she said.Rippy got one step closer to officially announcing her candidacy when she traveled to Denver with Rep. Gregg Rippy to attend legislative sessions at the House and go to committee meetings.”It’s extremely fast-paced,” she said. “The first day was really frantic. Gregg was bombarded from the moment we arrived, starting off with lobbyists waiting to speak to him about various bills. He was the picture of calm, even though he was bombarded.”Rippy said half of the day is spent in session listening and voting on bills. Then legislators break for committees. She attended two committee meetings on mental health and criminal justice, subjects “near and dear to my heart,” she said.She expects to make a formal announcement next week on whether she will run.Hershey considering a runTony Hershey of Aspen is also considering a run for the seat in District 61.”I think a Republican up here in Aspen could do pretty well,” said Hershey.Hershey served on the Aspen City Council from 1999 to 2003. He has a small law firm, writes a column for the Aspen Daily News and works in guest services for Aspen Ski Co.All those jobs are making the decision of whether to run difficult for Hershey. State representatives are required to be in Denver 150 days a year, and Hershey said he would have to give up some of his other jobs to represent District 61.Hershey first started thinking about running for the seat last summer on the advice of Gregg Rippy.”Gregg approached me last summer and said, “maybe you’d be interested,'” he said.Hershey said he’d like to address transportation and highway issues in Colorado and find funding to help promote tourism in Colorado.He will announce his decision to run or not in two weeks.Curry only candidateKathleen Curry, 43, of Gunnison, is the only candidate of the bunch who has formally announced she will run.Curry is the interim manager at the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District.Curry was the full-time manager at the conservancy district, but has scaled back her hours to run her campaign, which she kicked off in January. She is spending most of her time fund-raising, researching issues in the district, and meeting citizens.She describes herself as a moderate Democrat with three main focuses: water management, the state budget and land use.In general she’d like to see Western Slope water stay on the Western Slope, and wants the Legislature to balance the state budget.As part of her research into the district, Curry visits Glenwood Springs every other week.She recently attended the Northwest Oil and Gas Commission meeting, and gained some insights into the oil and gas industry, which is much more active in Garfield County than in Gunnison County.”It seems to be an absolutely critical issue,” she said.Curry is doing research into the issue and would like to see if the Legislature can help.If legislation could help resolve disputes between the oil and gas industry and citizens, she would make sure the industry is “accountable to the Legislature and that they are responsive to complaints,” she said.