Lawmaker, wife run for offices from different residences
Lori Baumgardner, wife of Colorado Republican State Rep. Randy Baumgardner, is running for a seat on the Hot Sulphur Springs town board; meanwhile, the state representative has announced his intention to seek election to the Colorado Senate as a Cowdrey resident running against incumbent Jean White of Hayden.
Lori Baumgardner has never moved from the couple’s Hot Sulphur Springs residence, she said, though Rep. Randy Baumgardner changed his residency in early November 2011 to Cowdrey in Jackson County.
On the Colorado Secretary of State website, Randy Baumgardner lists a post office box in Cowdrey as his home. On his own website, which announces his run for the Senate seat, Randy still lists Hot Sulphur Springs as his home.
The reason behind his move to Cowdrey, according to the Baumgardners, was for ranching reasons. Baumgardner has leased the Chimney Rock Ranch between Hot Sulphur Springs and Granby since 1996, but cited mounting regulation by federal agencies to limit cattle grazing near certain drainages as his reason for wanting to move.
“They’re squeezing the ranchers out,” Lori said.
So the couple leased the property in Cowdrey in order to graze cattle. Although the couple has not yet moved their cattle to the ranch in Cowdrey, Lori said, they plan to eventually graze as many as 100 yearlings there.
The land has an “empty house” with furniture on “vacant land,” she said. While her husband tends to state matters in the House, she runs the ranching business at home. She has never moved to Cowdrey nor does she plan to, she said.
Meanwhile Randy mostly shares time between Denver and Hot Sulphur Springs, she said.
“He spends the majority of time here when he is not in Denver,” she said, adding he may spend more time in Cowdrey during the summers.
According to the Grand County elections office, Randy is not listed as a registered voter in Grand County.
“We have two places, we’re happily married, nothing is going to change there,” she said.
The Baumgardners’ son is enrolled in East Grand County schools.
“My primary home is in Hot Sulphur Springs. I don’t know why his primary is there, and that may change,” Lori said.
Randy Baumgardner claimed residency in Cowdrey during the reapportionment committee’s process of redrawing the state’s legislative map, near a point in the process when it appeared Grand County would be extracted from House District 57 and Jackson County would remain in that district, which Baumgardner represents.
When final legislative maps showed Jackson and Grand joining Boulder and Gilpin Counties as a House District 13, and Grand joining Garfield, Jackson, Moffat, Rio Blanco, Routt and Summit counties in a Senate District 8, Baumgardner announced his bid for the state Senate.
– Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603
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Editor’s note: The following letter to the community was submitted to the Sky-Hi News by Winter Park Mayor Nick Kutrumbos.