Curry to serve as speaker pro tempore
State Rep. Kathleen Curry, D-Gunnison, will serve as speaker pro tempore, the incoming Speaker of the House Terrance Carroll, D-Denver, announced Tuesday, making her the second Western Slope lawmaker elected or appointed to a leadership position this year.
Curry said her appointment will help her steer her Democratic colleagues on oil and gas development as well as other Western Slope issues.
The speaker pro tempore also traditionally stands in for the speaker of the House when he is unavailable.
“I think that will be a positive … thing for western Colorado,” she said.
Curry joins the ranks of incoming Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction, as the region’s only members of their caucus’ leadership teams.
Curry thanked Carroll for her appointment, which fills the last open House leadership position.
“I think it says a lot about how you want to put your leadership together and make sure we’re representing all the opinions and diversity in our state,” she said.
Curry’s appointment also comes less than a week after she unsuccessfully tried to become speaker of the House following the electoral defeat of the frontrunner for the post, Rep. Bernie Buescher, D-Grand Junction,
Two other Western Slope lawmakers, Rep. Ellen Roberts, R-Durango, and Sen. Jim Isgar, D-Hesperus, unsuccessfully ran for leadership positions within their caucuses last week.
Roberts’ failure to become her caucus’ chairwoman prompted her, in a Sunday column, to warn about stacking each party’s leadership with Front Range residents.
Curry said her appointment shows how Carroll and her caucus colleagues value the Western Slope perspective.