Tonight, Carbondale’s state Rep. Bob Rankin was selected to replace embattled Republican state Sen. Randy Baumgardner, who will step down effective January 21. According to the Craig Daily Press, it took four ballots to secure Rankin’s nomination when he won six votes over former state Rep. Gregg Rippy’s four votes.
In addition to Rankin and Rippy, other Republicans who sought the nomination included Routt County Treasurer Brita Horn, Grand County Surveyor Warren Ward, Ninth Judicial District Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Zachary Parsons, and Breckenridge resident Debra Irvine. In other words, the meeting hosted almost more candidates than actual voting members.
Parsons withdrew after the third ballot and neither Horn nor Ward garnered any votes from anyone.
Rankin is a solid choice for the seat as he has owned a small business and has extensive legislative experience, having served six years in the state House and claiming to be the most productive member of the House Republican caucus. Apparently, he’s passed 84 bills in the past six years, and most have been bipartisan. Rankin plans to continue to serve on the Joint Budget Committee once he heads to the Senate.
No date has been set yet for a vacancy committee to replace Rankin; however, one leading candidate, Brandi Meek, has withdrawn her candidacy. We’ll keep you posted on a possible replacement.