Colorado Politics readers and supporters -- including state and local officials -- were on hand Thursday for a reception at the Ironworks events venue in Denver.

Some 120 attendees enjoyed food and refreshments as they mingled with the CoPo staff.

The party was a celebration of the General Assembly's ongoing 2019 session and also marked the launch of CoPo's coverage of Denver politics and civic affairs by veteran reporter John C. Ensslin and contributing columnist Neil Westergaard.

CoPo Managing Editor Mark Harden introduced the staff to the crowd -- including reporters Joey Bunch, Ernest Luning and Marianne Goodland; digital editor Erin Prater; opinion editor Dan Njegomir; and design director Stephanie Swearngin.

Harden also thanked Gazette Editor Vince Bzdek, CoPo General Manager Jared Wright, and Clarity Media Group President and CEO Ryan McKibben for their support of what Harden called "a 121-year-old startup."

Bill Cadman, former Colorado Senate president and now vice president of corporate and government affairs for Denver-based Whiting Petroleum, was master of ceremonies.

Among the many notable attendees were Senate Minority Leader Chris Holbert, former state senator and current U.S. Senate candidate Mike Johnston, District Attorney George Brauchler of the 18th Judicial District, former state Senate President Kevin Grantham, Senate Minority Whip Ray Scott, Denver City Councilmember (and clerk and recorder candidate) Paul López, University of Colorado Regent Jack Kroll, former Colorado GOP chairman Dick Wadhams, veteran journalist and former Secretary of State's Office spokeswoman Lynn Bartels, Colorado Automobile Dealers Association CEO Tim Jackson, and TV host Aaron Harber.

Sponsors of the event included lead sponsor CiviCO, whose founder, Ryan Heckman, addressed the crowd, as well as Arc Thrift Stores, Colorado Farm Bureau, Colorado Licensed Beverage Association, Enstrom Candies, Extraction Oil & Gas, MillerCoors and Sewald Hanfling Public Affairs.

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