Hickenlooper says 'I'm going to run for president,' then waffles

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper speaks during the panel Economic Development at the National Governor Association winter meeting Feb. 25 in Washington. 

The two legislative liaisons for Gov. John Hickenlooper have both accepted new jobs and will be gone by month’s end.

Hickenlooper’s office announced Tuesday that Kurt Morrison, who has served as deputy chief of staff for legislative affairs, will depart at the end of August to join the Centura Health hospital chain as vice president for government and public affairs. The office’s director, Lauren Lambert, leaves Friday for a new job in Boulder.

Morrison has been the deputy legislative director since 2014. He previously worked in a similar role for the Colorado Department of Transportation and for the General Assembly as a legislative policy analyst.

“Kurt always kept the good of Colorado at the heart of every legislative effort we took on,” Hickenlooper said Tuesday. “We owe much of our team’s success to Kurt’s dedication and hard work.”

He’s not the only one leaving the governor’s office this month.

Lambert, who has been the director of legislative affairs for Hickenlooper since May, will leave that post on Friday to join Google’s Boulder office in government and public affairs.

Lambert has been with part of the governor’s legislative liaison staff since November 2016, previously served as legislative liaison for the Colorado Department of Human Services. Before that, Lambert was a fiscal analyst for the General Assembly.

Legislation that the liaison staff played a major role in over the past two sessions include reauthorization of the Colorado Division of Civil Rights and Colorado Civil Rights Commission, reforms to the Public Employees Retirement Association, rural broadband, construction defects, the hospital provider fee, transportation funding and an amendment to the 2017 Long Appropriations bill that provided funding to help house the homeless.

Christina Rosendahl will take on the role of legislative liaison for the governor’s office until the end of his term in January. She currently is the legislative liaison for the Department of Corrections and will continue in that role as well.

The departures of the governor’s legislative staff is not unexpected, given that Hickenlooper leaves office in less than five months.

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