Letter: Jill Ryan will continue the good work of Diane Mitsch-Bush
A vacancy committee is created when a legislator leaves office midterm, as has happened with House District 26. Diane Mitsch-Bush has served as our Colorado Representative for the past five years but is moving on to pursue a role in the U.S. Congress. She has served us well, and I wish her well in her next endeavor.
She is one of the few house legislators able to work in a bipartisan way to achieve results these past few years. She has been described as one of the hardest-working legislators in the House, with 75 percent of her bipartisan bills being signed into law. She has left big shoes to fill, and the vacancy committee will meet this Saturday, Oct. 28, to decide who will fill in until everyone can vote at the general election in November 2018.
People interested in the position have until Saturday to declare their interest, and then the committee will have the important task of appointing someone for this next term. Even without all the candidates having possibly come forward, I would like to say that if we are looking for someone that can hit the ground running to continue the good work done by Diane, there is no one more qualified than Commissioner Jill Ryan.
Jill has testified on the floor of the house to help Diane’s legislation pass. She has provided testimony, data sources and backup research when needed. Jill’s years of experience as a county commissioner will enable her to make a seamless transition to state representative.
She has championed issues at the local and state level with testimony and committee representation on the Inter-mountain Planning Region, the I-70 Coalition and the Board of Public Health. She has worked with numerous legislators to help improve safety on Interstate 70, to address the rising cost of health insurance, to assure children have the health insurance they need and to protect our environment.
She has traveled to Washington, D.C., to help legislators understand the impact their decisions have in Colorado, especially those decisions which affect our environment, water and air quality. She has the ability to work with people of varying perspectives, and she relies on data to make good decisions. She asks the right questions and has demonstrated success in moving projects forward.
The vacancy committee is charged with un-biasedly reviewing the candidates who come forward for consideration. They need to weigh each person’s skills, experiences and background, as well as less visible attributes such as passion, persistence and electability.
Jill Ryan has demonstrated that she has the experience, skills and passion for the job. And having been elected to office twice, we know that she has what it takes to fund raise, campaign and engage the public to get their vote.
She will hit the ground running to carry on the excellent work of Diane Mitsch-Bush, and she will withstand the challenge of any opponent next November, allowing the good work to continue.