Legislators’ Report Card: Colorado’s Top 10 Representatives

A team report by Kerri Rebresh, Sandra Fish and Wendy Norris.

How effective is your state representative at getting bills through the legislature and signed by the governor? As part of our end-of-session report card for lawmakers, Colorado Confidential brings you the 10 most effective representatives:


As with the Senate, House Democrats dominate the list as members of the majority party. But unlike the list of most effective senators, several Republican representatives made the top 10.

Also unlike many of the top senators, these representatives scored most of their points by sponsoring, not co-sponsoring bills. That’s simply because there aren’t as many bills in the Senate to go around. So, many of those on our list got there by sponsoring the most bills.

With 14 bills, Rep. Anne McGihon, D-Denver, sponsored more measures than any other representative. Twelve of those were signed by Gov. Ritter, which propelled her to the top of our list. That means McGihon was most effective at getting her bills passed, not that she is the best or most powerful representative.

Other representatives on the top 10 list scored well not by sponsoring a heap of bills but by not having any fail. Reps. Terrance Carroll of Denver and Alice Madden of Boulder both had a 100 percent success rate. They sponsored and co-sponsored a modest number of bills, but every one was signed by Gov. Ritter.

Rep. Tom Massey of Poncha Springs was one of the two Republicans to make the list. Massey saw all nine of the bills he sponsored get Gov. Ritter’s signature. Most of his bills, which included one making School Accountability Reports more accessible and another allowing in-state tuition for people who move here under certain economic incentive conditions, had bipartisan support. Actually, Massey made sure that was the case. All of his bills had a Democratic co-sponsor in the Senate, and Massey employed an unusual tactic: For more than half of his bills, there was another primary House sponsor who was always from across the aisle.

Similarly, veteran Republican Al White of Winter Park also made friends with Senate Democrats and got all eight of his bills passed. And White seems to know who gets things done in the Senate. Nearly all of his Democratic co-sponsors (Sen. Jim Isgar was his favorite partner) were in the top 10 list of senators.

Also in this series:

Pass/Fail: Colorado State Legislators’ Final Report Card

Colorado’s Top 10 Senators

Check back Tuesday for a look at the 10 least effective legislators in each chamber and throughout the week for continuing coverage of our end-of-session legislative scorecard.