Coram should prove a worthy successor to Roberts

Keywords: Durango Herald,
Representative Don Coram Enlargephoto

Representative Don Coram

As expected, state Rep. Don Coram, has been named to succeed state Sen. Ellen Roberts. He is a good fit for the district and can be expected to do the job well.

The Montrose Republican has represented the 58th District in Colorado’s House of Representatives, which includes Cortez. He will now be representing Senate District 6, a larger area made up of eight counties, including Montezuma, La Plata, Archuleta and San Juan. That could test Coram to some extent in that he is going from a solid Republican district to one that, while including his former district, also includes some parts that are a little more blue, such as La Plata County.

That should not be a problem. Coram is a straightforward Republican whose interests and priorities reflect that. His values include property rights, small government, free enterprise, fiscal responsibility and defending the U.S. Constitution. But at the same time, like Roberts, Coram is a moderate who focuses more on practicality than ideology. We can expect him to follow in his predecessor’s footsteps by working across the aisle for what is best for this part of the state. Coram and Roberts have worked together in Legislature and he would be wise to emulate much of her behavior in her 10 years there.

In the last legislative session, Roberts was the principal sponsor of 22 bills, 19 of which were signed into law. Two-thirds of her bills that passed had bipartisan co-sponsors. That is a record to be proud of, and an approach Coram should continue.

But while Roberts’ legislative efforts often involved reaching across the aisle, the process triggered by her resignation was purely partisan. Because Roberts is a Republican, naming someone to fill out the last two years of her term fell to a Republican committee, which also picked Coram’s successor. This preserves the partisan balance in the Legislature and given the political make up of the 58th House District, all but ensures it remains going forward.

It is a process meant to ensure continuity. And with Coram following Roberts, a welcome continuity is what his constituents can expect.