Speaker of the Colorado House Andrew Romanoff of Denver is making it clear he has no intention of being a one-term wonder in his new position. He is quickly moving to solidify Democratic control over the House by taking the unusual step of naming a freshman, Bernie Buescher of Grand Junction, to the powerful Joint Budget Committee. Romanoff understands that Grand Junction is traditionally Republican territory, and putting Buescher on the JBC will help Buescher when he has to run for re-election. The move also sends a message that the Democrats intend to develop a political presence west of the Continental Divide. In case anyone missed the significance of what Romanoff was doing, he spelled it out in an interview with the Grand Junction Sentinel:

“I think it’s important to have someone from the Western Slope to bring balance to the budget committee,” Romanoff said. “In the end, I think our team on the JBC will end up looking a lot like Colorado.”

A Mesa County native and former cabinet member under Gov. Roy Romer, Buescher may prove to be the right person to establish a Democratic foothold in the Grand Valley.