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Rosier announces bid for U.S. Senate

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Jeffco county commissioner joins already-crowded GOP field

By Gabrielle Porter

Republican County Commissioner Don Rosier took his first shots at Democratic incumbent Michael Bennet last Thursday as he kicked off a campaign for the U.S. Senate.

Rosier blasted Bennet for his support of the White House’s controversial Iran deal — which will reduce sanctions in exchange for the country agreeing to reduce its stockpile of enriched uranium and submit to some international monitoring — as well as Bennet’s support for the Affordable Care Act and his stance on some environmental regulations.

“At the same time that Sen. Bennet is making deals with … the largest exporter of terrorism in the world, he’s supporting EPA regulations that screw down tighter and tighter on all of us here,” Rosier said to the gathering of about 45 supporters in Arvada.

Rosier also cited his strong support of the Second Amendment, and his desire to pass legislation to fund maintenance on roads and bridges.

“I need your vote to go to Washington and put Colorado first, to put you first, to help foster opportunity rather than smother possibilities,” Rosier said at the end of his speech.

Rosier joins several Republicans vying to unseat Bennet in the November 2016 election, including state Sen. Tim Neville of Littleton and former Aurora city councilman Ryan Frazier. He spoke little of his Republican opponents during the kickoff event, saying in an interview only that he thinks he is well qualified to be the party’s nominee.

“I think, of who has announced and who’s there, I am the best candidate,” he said.

Rosier is in the middle of his second term as a Jeffco commissioner, having won re-election in 2014. Before running for office, Rosier worked in the private sector as a water resource engineer and served as president of operations for Summit Oil Field Services and as a principal with Westside Investment Partners, among other positions.

Jeffco Clerk and Recorder Faye Griffin — who served with Rosier on the county commission before resigning in 2014 partway through her term to become clerk — attended the event to support Rosier. Griffin said that while she doesn’t endorse candidates because her office manages elections, she thinks Rosier is a well-rounded candidate.

“He is really good with budgets, and he is really good with people,” she said. “Our government needs to have a balanced budget.”

The appointment train

If Rosier were to win the Republican nomination and then defeat Bennet in the statewide race, he would be the third Republican county commissioner to resign midterm since 2011.

In 2011, former commissioner Kevin McCasky left to take a position as head of the Jeffco Economic Development Council, and John Odom was selected by the Jeffco GOP as his replacement. In 2014, Griffin resigned two years before her term was up to run for clerk and recorder. Current Commissioner Libby Szabo was named by the Jeffco GOP as her replacement.

Rosier would not speculate on who the county party might tap as his replacement on the county commission, and said that according to the process he would not be involved in the selection.

Contact Gabrielle Porter at gabrielle@evergreenco.comor at 303-350-1042.

Colorado’s candidates for U.S. Senate

Eight candidates have declared their intention to run for U.S. Senate, including incumbent Michael Bennet, so far the lone Democrat. Here are the Republican contenders:

• Retired Air Force computer programmer Charlie Ehlers.

• Business strategy consultant and former Aurora city councilman Ryan Frazier.

• Former El Paso County commissioner and Colorado Springs city councilman Darryl Glenn.

• Mortgage broker Michael Kinlaw.

• State Sen. Tim Neville.

• Jeffco County Commissioner Don Rosier.

Gary Swing, an unaffiliated candidate with the so-called “Boiling Frog Party,” is also running, according to the Federal Election Commission.