Speaker Pro Tem
The area’s local representative to the Colorado state legislature is rising quickly through the political ranks. Gunnison’s Kathleen Curry was appointed Tuesday as the speaker pro tem of the Colorado House of Representatives. Curry represents House District 61, which includes Gunnison, Pitkin, Eagle, and Garfield counties.
Speaker-elect Terrance Carroll appointed Curry to the position saying, “She is a smart, Western Slope rancher, scientist and mother. She will be an important part of the team.”
Curry, just a second-term representative, was humbled “and a little surprised” by the appointment. “I am happy and excited to accept the role,” she said during a conference call Tuesday afternoon. “In the past, the state legislature has shown support for rural issues and this is a confirmation of that. But the work for us now is to address the big issues facing the state and that centers on the economy. The economic issues facing the state can’t be regionalized.”
“We need to build on our base and keep the jobs we have as well as bring in new jobs,” Curry says.
Curry explained that the job of speaker pro tem “is what you make it. I’ll help the speaker and my understanding is that he would like me to work as a point person with issues like oil-and-gas and agriculture. It is a positive thing for the Western Slope.”
Speaker-elect Carroll said he looked forward to Curry being his main advisor on topics like the environment and oil-and-gas. “I’m looking forward to her input on the issues,” he said.
Carroll said that while it might seem like Curry is a fast-rising star in the Democratic party, she is in the best position to take the job. “When you look at experience and at term limits, it is important to promote good people to good positions,” he said.
Carroll will be term-limited out of office in two years.
Curry said she will be looking out for Democrats in the upcoming years, but she said the best way to keep the party in power is to “focus on the issues and not partisan politics. We have to do a good job and address the issues that are impacting the state.”
Curry will remain as chair of the House Agricultural, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee and continue as a member of the Local Government Committee.