Freshmen In Tough Districts Getting A Boost With Bills?

With several freshmen legislators ranking near the top of our legislative scorecard and Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff ranking near the bottom, it’s clear that our list doesn’t address who has the most power at the capitol. In some cases, those who scored well were also among those whose seats are the most vulnerable.

Democratic freshman Sen. Gail Schwartz (D-Snowmass Village), for instance, ranks 6th in our list of the most successful senators, but Schwartz won her race in November with just 51% of the vote. It’s certainly possible Schwartz has been given non-controversial bills to sponsor and co-sponsor in order to build up her record for the next election. The pattern of successful freshman legislators in tough districts can also be seen in the high scores of Reps. Sara Gagliardi and Dianne Primavera. Gagliardi, whose district includes Arvada, won her race with a razor-thin margin. Primavera, who represents Broomfield, also had a tight race. Both lawmakers ranked in the top 10 of our most successful representatives.

In contrast, some Democrats who won in landslides haven’t been as successful getting their bills passed, which might indicate they’re taking on more controversial issues. Claire Levy (D-Boulder) ranks near the middle of the pack, but having won her race with 82% of the vote, Levy doesn’t need any help for the next election.

The trend also holds true for some first-term Republicans. Rep. Ellen Roberts (R-Durango) tied for 7th place in our list of most successful Republicans in both chambers and won her race in November with 52% of the vote.

Read the whole series to date:
Colorado Republicans: Who’s the Go-To Person (and Who’s Not)
Colorado Democrats: Who’s the Go-To Person (And Who’s Not)
Colorado’s Ten Most Successful Senators
Colorado’s Ten Most Successful Representatives
Colorado’s 10 Least Successful Senators
Colorado’s 10 Least Successful Representatives
Stella Who?
Lois Tochtrop, Queen of the Co-Sponsors
Pass/Fail: A Mid-Term Report Card of Colorado’s State Legislators

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