Colorado House speaker to speak at Saturday fundraiser in Steamboat |

Colorado House speaker to speak at Saturday fundraiser in Steamboat

Nicole Inglis

— Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver, is slated as the keynote speaker at the Routt County Democrats’ Jefferson Jackson Potluck Dinner on Saturday.

Ferrandino will be appearing in Steamboat in the midst of an active legislative session that has seen the passing of highly publicized bills, including gun regulations and civil unions.

But Routt County Democrats President Catherine Carson said there are many more issues that delegates are working through in Denver, and many of them have direct impacts on Routt County.

“There’s a lot of things that are very important, very studied,” she said. “The sensational ones are publicized a lot, and there’s a lot of work being done.”

Issues including school finance, Medicaid, energy development and health care are important to Routt County residents, Carson said, and are topics that Ferrandino can talk about based on his experience at the Capitol.

The annual potluck and fundraiser for the Routt County Democrats takes place at 5:30 p.m. at the Steamboat Springs Community Center.

Admission is $25 and a potluck dish to share. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m., and Routt County Commissioner Doug Monger will host a live auction featuring items including Broncos tickets and an airplane flight.

“It’s a great energy; it’s great fun,” Carson said.

Ferrandino, D-Denver, hails from State House District 2 as a representative since 2007. In 2011, he was elected to lead his party in the House, which became the majority in November.

In addition to his career as an elected official, Ferrandino, who was born in upstate New York, was a policy analyst at the White House Office of Management and Budget for Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and a senior budget analyst for the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.

Ferrandino has been at the forefront of the gay rights issue in Colorado. The first openly gay speaker of the Colorado House, Ferrandino was a strong proponent of the Colorado civil unions bill, which was signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper on Thursday.

“Ferrandino’s done great things for the state. He’s a hard worker, and he’s done a lot for the state and for all citizens,” Carson said. “He’s also just a very smart, studious legislator.”

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email


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