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Sen. Kerry Donovan, D-Eagle, (left) and Rep. Dylan Roberts, D-Eagle, (right) and Donovan’s dog, Gary, chat before the Colorado Senate and House of Representatives convened on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021. Donovan has thrown her hat into the mix to run against U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert in 2022. (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

When preliminary district maps were presented to the Colorado Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission three weeks ago, it appeared likely Dylan Roberts wouldn’t be running to represent House District 26 for a fourth consecutive term.

The initial draft of the maps showed the Avon Democrat had been drawn out of the district he has represented since 2017 and into one with Rep. Julie McCluskie, the Joint Budget Committee vice-chair who lives some 25 miles east in Dillon.

That was set to present a headache for Gold Dome Democrats if those district lines held. A pair of their most influential members who also happen to be two out of just a handful of rural Democratic lawmakers would be forced to go head-to-head in a primary.

But as is often the case at the state Capitol, Roberts has a solution. He’s running for the state Senate seat set to be vacated by the term-limited Senate President Pro Tempore Kerry Donovan, D-Vail.

“It has been a true honor to represent Eagle County and Routt County in the State House,” Roberts said in a statement released Tuesday. “I look forward to bringing my record of legislative success and passion for the High Country to the State Senate and continue to get things done for the people of Colorado.”

Roberts’ announcement comes after a legislative session in which he, along with Donovan and Aurora Democratic Rep. Iman Jodeh, served as the prime sponsor and driving force behind the year’s signature piece of legislation: the Colorado Option (House Bill 1232). The sweeping bill — which drew fervent opposition from Republican lawmakers, a flurry of lobbying and a number of rewrites — seeks to bring down health insurance premiums by 15% over a three-year period.

Roberts also worked with Donovan this session on an effort to cap the price of insulin (House Bill 1307) and drew her endorsement.

“I could not think of a better person to succeed me in this office than Dylan Roberts,” the Vail Democrat said in a statement. “Together we have tackled the district's important issues like health care costs, rural broadband, water, and protecting our public lands. We have work still to do and I know Dylan will continue to fight for our communities.”

Along with Donovan, Roberts announced his campaign on Tuesday with endorsements from U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Lafayette, Attorney General Phil Weiser, Treasurer Dave Young and leaders at the state Capitol and in his district including:

  • House Speaker Alec Garnett, D-Denver
  • House Majority Leader Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo
  • Senate President Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo
  • Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, D-Boulder
  • Rep. Barbara McLachlan, D-Durango
  • Sen. Tammy Story, D-Conifer
  • Rep. Judy Amabile, D-Boulder
  • Former Sen. Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass Village
  • Former Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, D-Steamboat Springs
  • Chaffee County Commissioner Keith Baker
  • Eagle County Commissioners Kathy Chandler-Henry, Jeanne McQueeney and Matt Scherr
  • Pitkin County Commissioner Patti Clapper
  • Gunnison County Commissioners Jonathan Houck and Liz Smith
  • Summit County Commissioners Elisabeth Lawrence and Tamara Pogue
  • Clear Creek County Commissioner Randy Wheelock

Under the draft Senate map presented in June, the district Roberts is running to represent would include Chaffee, Clear Creek, Eagle, Gilpin, Gunnison, Lake, Pitkin and Summit counties.

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