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The Cheyenne County Cartel

By Kathy Pelton

January 25, 2023

Call them The Three Amigos. Call them Perry and the Peltons. Or call them The Cheyenne County Cartel. However you look at it, it is quite an extraordinary thing that 3 of the 35 Colorado State Senators (and 25% of the Republican Senators) for the current session were born and raised in the small town of Cheyenne Wells, Colorado (pop. 758).

With the swearing in of Sen. Will on Thursday, January 12, the trio was made complete. Senator Will was appointed to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Sen. Rankin in Senate District 5, which is comprised of parts of Delta, Eagle, Garfield, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose and Pitkin Counties. Senator Will has served the last four years as a State Representative, and is ready to hit the ground running. He has been appointed to serve on the Health & Human Services and the Business, Labor & Technology Committees.

Senator Byron Pelton has been serving as Logan County Commissioner for the past six years, and was elected to fill the vacancy left by Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg in Senate District 1. This district is comprised of Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington, Weld and Yuma Counties. Pelton will serve on the Committees of Agriculture & Natural Resources, Transportation & Energy, and Local Government & Housing. Already two of his sponsored bills have been read across the desk and are ready to be heard by the appropriate committees: SB23-036 and SB23-034.

Senator Rod Pelton has been serving as the State Representative for District 65 for the past four years, and was moved to a new district with the 2020 redistricting. He chose to run for the Senate District that makes up just about 25% of the state’s area, Senate District 35, and was elected to serve that population. His Senate District encompasses the counties of Baca, Bent, Cheyenne, Crowley, part of El Paso, Elbert, Huerfano, Kiowa, Kit Carson, Las Animas, Lincoln, Otero and Prowers. He has been chosen to serve on the Agriculture & Natural Resources, Local Government & Housing, and Legislative Audit Committees. He also has two bills scheduled for committee hearings: SB23-044 and SB 23-026.

Together, the “Cheyenne County Cartel” represents at least part of 27 of the 64 counties in Colorado, including all of the eastern plains and approximately 50% of the entire land mass of the state. That’s a lot of area, and a lot of people, to be represented by three small-town country boys. But rest assured, they will do their very best to make sure that all of Rural Colorado will be heard under the dome. To our knowledge, never before has such a large portion of the state been represented by three people who all hail from a very small town that many have never heard of. Maybe this will put Cheyenne Wells on the map!

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