Nearly a decade ago, when she was still a Weld County commissioner, Republican state Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer was an outspoken leader in the attempt by 11 northern Colorado counties to pursue secession and form a 51st state.
The proposal was fueled by rural Colorado’s frustration about how Denver-centric environmental and economic policies were thrust on them by statehouse politics. So commissioners in the 11 counties asked their residents: Should we try to leave and form our own thing?
The 51st Initiative failed in six of the 11 counties, including in Weld. But Kirkmeyer, now running to represent the new, highly competitive 8th Congressional District, believes the work — which made national headlines — was worth it for the clear message it sent to state leaders.
That’s even as…
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