Bob Rankin named legislator of year by Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado | CraigDailyPress.com

Bob Rankin named legislator of year by Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado

State Rep. Bob Rankin

RANGELY — The Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado recently honored state Rep. Bob Rankin with its first Legislator of the Year award.

Rankin, who has since 2013 represented District 57 in the Colorado House of Representatives, serves on the House Appropriations Committee and the Joint Budget Committee.

He is currently running for re-election and will face Democratic challenger Colin Wilhelm in the Nov. 6 General Election.

According to a news release from the AGNC, Rankin was chosen for the honor in recognition of his legislative efforts to help promote the interests of local governments in Northwest Colorado, particularly in matters that impact the region's economic viability.

Rankin has worked to help counties avoid serious economic impacts resulting from the cancellation of leases by the Bureau of Land Management and served as a bullhorn for rural voices in the governor's office on matters related to federal public lands policy throughout the region, the news release stated.

Ray Beck, AGNC chairman and Moffat County commissioner, particularly noted Rankin's work on the Joint Budget Committee, where he has devoted countless hours to identifying budget solutions without raiding severance tax funds that aid energy impacted areas.

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Beck further noted Rankin was instrumental in passing legislation to fairly distribute long-held funds from the Anvil Points settlement directly to impacted counties in Northwest Colorado.

"Through his role on the Joint Budget Committee, Rep. Rankin has been an asset for all of us," Beck said. "His involvement — and the piece of legislation he put forward — was a big part of what allowed us to get the Anvil Points money."

He went on to praise Rankin's legislative work, in general.

"Bob has been a true leader in the legislature and a staunch supporter of our region, as well as greater Colorado," Beck said. "We appreciate the efforts of this dedicated legislator and look forward to continued successes with him as one of our Western Slope representatives."

Reached by telephone for comment, Rankin, who was between meetings in Denver, said the award came as a wonderful surprise.

"Wow, what an honor," he said. "And, I got a beautiful elk sculpture that's sitting on top of my bookcase in Denver right now."

He added that, though he is appreciative of the recognition, it really should have been "the other way around."

"I just want to thank the AGNC," Rankin said. "They're great partners on almost every issue I deal with in Northwest Colorado. They'll pull together on a moment's notice and do what needs to be done. I'm honored to receive the award, but it should really go the other way. I should be awarding them for the great help they give me and the region on so many issues."

Contact Jim Patterson at 970-875-1790 or jpatterson@CraigDailyPress.com.