Brophy: He’s the man to return state control to Republicans
State Sen. Greg Brophy is pretty certain he wants to be governor of Colorado.
But if some people in several of the counties in his expansive northeast Colorado Senate district have their way, the Wray Republican who’s seeking the GOP nomination to challenge Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper soon could live in another state.
The state of North Colorado.
Brophy, who’s in town to attend this weekend’s Club 20 fall meeting, said that while he encouraged commissioners in numerous counties in his district to place a 51st state initiative on their November ballots, he isn’t necessarily in favor of the idea.
Officials in such northeast Colorado counties as Weld, Morgan and Logan have pushed the idea of creating their own state because they don’t feel the Legislature is listening to them.
But while Brophy said he understands that sentiment, the longtime state legislator said the issue puts him in an awkward position.
“I encouraged my county commissioners to move forward with this to catch the governor’s attention and the state Legislature’s attention,” Brophy said. “I think that most of the counties will vote to secede, but it won’t pass through the state Legislature.”
If such a vote passed, though, Brophy said he would be obligated to introduce a measure into the Legislature if his constituents demanded it of him, even though he’s not sure how he would vote on it.
That’s because Brophy is hoping to persuade GOP voters in that district and elsewhere in the state that he should be their pick for governor when Hickenlooper comes up for re-election next year, and not one of the five other Republicans in the race.
That group includes former congressman Tom Tancredo and current Secretary of State Scott Gessler, who has created a gubernatorial campaign and is set to announce next week whether he plans officially to enter the race.
“If we run a Republican with a fresh face — but with the experience to immediately be effective and have the ability to appeal to the center of Colorado as a guy who’s interested in the things that they’re interested in, and someone they could trust — then the Republicans could win this gubernatorial election probably easier than anyone thinks,” Brophy said. “I think I’m that guy.”
When it comes to creating a new state, though, even Brophy doesn’t believe the effort is all that serious, saying that most of his neighbors see it as a protest more than anything else.
But would Brophy carry a bill in the 2014 legislative session allowing some northern Colorado counties to leave the state?
“I have been obviously wrestling with that one,” he said. “Let’s wait to see the outcome of the vote before I decide what it is I have to do.”