A Republican vacancy committee on Thursday elected Shane Sandridge, a Colorado Springs investment consultant and former police officer, to become the next representative of House District 14. Sandridge will replace state Rep. Dan Nordberg, R-Colorado Springs, who is stepping down in January to take a job as regional administrator of the Small Business Administration.
The 45-member vacancy committee took two rounds of balloting to hand a majority to Sandridge, who had 23 votes, over Anita Miller with 20 votes and Aaron Novy with 2 votes. David Kelly and Anthony Perez were also candidates for the seat.
Describing himself as a constitutional conservative, Sandridge said he believes government needs to "stay out of your way." He said when he announced his campaign for the vacancy he intends to focus on expanding Interstate 25 and other transportation issues, encouraging growth in the economy, preventing crime and suicide, and reducing the size of government.
"We must be tough on crime," said Sandridge, who served as a police officer on the Kansas City Police Department in Kansas City, Mo., and worked as a child clinical psychotherapist for children with criminal tendencies, in a campaign statement. "I have seen drugs decimate a community. I have witnessed weak laws provide an opening to criminals. I understand how poor educational and family structures influence criminality. We must recognize how some progressive policies actually attract crime."
Describing his approach to the Legislature, Sandridge said in a statement: "More government control means less liberty. Lets keep government small and broaden the free market, refine regulation, trust our families and business owners to know what is best for them, decrease political correctness, while increasing common sense policies, all while expanding liberty in House District 14."
Nordberg was serving his third term representing the El Paso County district, which is heavily Republican. He's the ranking Republican on the House Business Affairs and Labor committee.
It's the third vacancy in the Legislature since the regular session ended in May. State Rep. Judy Reyher, R-Swink, was sworn in Monday to fill the term of former state Rep. Clarice Navarro, a Pueblo Republican, who stepped down last month to run the Colorado Farm Service Agency. State Rep. Dylan Roberts, D-Eagle, was elected in October to take over for former state Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, a Steamboat Springs Democrat, who resigned to campaign full-time for the 3rd Congressional District seat held by U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, a Cortez Republican.