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Democrats begin process to fill 6th Senate District vacancy
Monday, November 22, 2010

The vacancy committee for the 6th Senatorial District gathered July 12 in Ridgway to begin the process of filling the vacancy that will be created when Sen. Jim Isgar assumes his new position with the USDA.

In accordance with state statute, Bev Rich, San Juan County Treasurer and chair of the 6th Senatorial District, called the meeting of the vacancy committee to set out the procedures that will be followed.

Rich will accept resumes on behalf of the committee from potential candidates through July 20 at which point they will be distributed to all committee members for review and interviews will be scheduled. Upon completion of the interview process, the committee will select and certify a candidate to fill the vacant seat and notify the Secretary of State. Resumes from potential Democratic candidates who would like to be considered to fill Sen. Isgar’s vacant seat should be submitted to Bev Rich at PO Box 202, Silverton, CO 81433 or

The process for filling vacancies in the Colorado General Assembly is set out in state statute. It requires that a vacancy be filled until the next general election by majority vote of the vacancy committee from the same district and of the same party as the person who vacated the seat. At the next general election, the vacancy shall be filled by election.

If the committee fails to certify a replacement, the governor must do so within five days.

According to statute, the person selected to fill the vacancy must possess “the constitutional qualifications for a member of the general assembly” and be “affiliated with the same political party or minor political party, if any, shown on the registration books of the county clerk and recorder as the former member whose seat is vacant.”

The vacancy committee is composed of the officers of the 6th Senatorial District, the chair and vice-chair of the county Democratic Party within each of the eight counties of the district, and additional representatives from Montrose and La Plata counties to account for their larger populations.

The election of the people representing their counties on the vacancy committee took place through a year-long process beginning with the election of precinct chairs at the caucuses in February 2008. Those precinct chairs then elected county officers and delegates to represent them at the reorganization meetings for each electoral district. At those reorganization meetings, representatives on the vacancy committees were then selected.

Archuleta County is represented on the 6th Senatorial District Vacancy Committee by Ben Douglas, first vice-c hair of the 6th Senatorial District, and Bob Nash and Nan Rowe, chair and first vice-chair of the Archuleta County Democratic party, respectively. County parties can appoint a replacement to the vacancy committee if one of their representatives is unable to participate for some reason.

Further information on the replacement process can be obtained by contacting Rich at the addresses listed above.