Curry pressing ahead with measure that won’t help her

DENVER — Rep. Kathleen Curry won’t get any help from her own bill today.

The unaffiliated representative from Gunnison, on the final day of the 2010 legislative session, will present a bill that affects future unaffiliated candidates but won’t be of any help to her as she seeks re-election this year.

This, despite Senate Republicans trying to help her avoid the difficult, write-in-candidate route she must travel to earn a fourth term in the House.

Late last year Curry left the Democratic Party to become an independent legislator, and because she made the change so late in the year, her name couldn’t appear on this fall’s general election ballot.

Unlike Democratic and Republican party members, who can get on a ballot a few months before a general election, the law requires independent candidates to be unaffiliated with any political party for 18 months before an election to earn a ballot spot.

As a result, Curry introduced a bill to change the language to be as of Jan. 1 in an election year. So as not to introduce a bill that benefited her personally, Curry also made the bill effective next year.

Republican senators led an effort to alter the bill specifically to help her. But before House Bill 1271 cleared the Senate late Tuesday, senators took out the provision that affected her. “If that amendment stays on, I’ll recuse myself from voting,” Curry said before it was taken off.

Curry said she couldn’t understand why Republicans in the Senate would do that anyway, particularly because she would otherwise be forced to run for re-election as a write-in candidate, a tough thing to do, and because there is already a Republican in the race, Crested Butte attorney Luke Korkowski.

Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, said he offered the change because it was the right thing to do.

“I don’t know if it’s the right thing to do politically, but it’s the right thing to do from a policy standpoint,” Brophy said before the provision was stripped from the bill.

If the House approves the bill in a final vote today, it will head to the governor’s office.


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