BY FREDA MIKLIN
On November 24, HD37 State Rep. Ruby Dickson sent an email inviting her constituents to a community town hall on December 11 at Koelbel Library. She also shared that she had just become engaged to her partner Steve and included a note asking constituents to join her policy advisory committee, along with a solicitation, saying, “Support my re-election in 2024.”
Seven days later, Dickson announced that she will resign her seat in the general assembly effective December 11. Her letter to the chief clerk of the Colorado House of Representatives said, “It has recently become clear that the sensationalistic & vitriolic nature of the current political environment is not healthy for me or my family.”
Section 2 of Article 5 of the Colorado Constitution provides that a vacancy in the legislature that occurs between elections is to be filled by a member of the same political party as the legislator who vacated the seat. Traditionally, that has been accomplished by the political apparatus of the political party for the district with the vacated seat naming the person to be appointed.
Soon after January 10, 2024, Democratic Party precinct leaders in State House District 37 will interview those who apply to serve out the balance of Dickson’s term, then announce their choice. That term ends November 5, 2024.
According to Colorado Politics, 28 of the 100 legislators currently in the general assembly have attained their seats by being appointed by their party’s vacancy committee in the district they serve, including eight just this year. Of the eight 2023 vacancy appointments, six were in the 65-member state House and two were in the 35-member state Senate.
Dickson, who was 26 when she was elected last year, was the youngest member of the general assembly during the only legislative term (2023) in which she served.
According to reports, Dickson worked for Governor Polis when he was a Member of Congress. She was a prime sponsor on five bills that became law during her sole session in the legislature:
HB23-1255 Regulating Local Housing Growth Restrictions that preempted local regulations limiting the number of building permits issued for development;
HB23-1074 Study Workforce Transitions to Other Industries creating this body and funding it;
HB23-1225 Extend and Modify Prescription Drug Affordability Board that modified the affordability review process to increase the number of drugs for which the board was allowed to set upper payment limits and allow individuals to request an independent review of a denial of benefit for some prescription drugs;
HB23-1210 Carbon Management ensuring carbon management projects are eligible for certain grants and creating a roadmap on the topic;
HB23-1058 Child-occupied Facility Lead-based Paint Abatement expanding the definition to include more facilities at which lead-based paint must be abated.
HD37 includes all of Greenwood Village, Foxfield, and southern Centennial.