By Jamie Folsom
UPDATE: Larimer and Weld County Republicans in District 49 chose former Musgrave District Director B.J. Nikkel to take on the open seat as state representative Saturday, Jan. 17. With a vacancy committee vote of 8-2 over Windsor businessman Ray Walter, Nikkel will serve the remaining two years of Sen. Kevin Lundberg’s seat won in last November’s election.
Brian Ivers of Fort Collins was the first to nominate Nikkel, likening her to Kevin Lundberg in her views on family and fiscal issues, and the commitment to small government. He described her as a “lighthouse of conservativism.”
In her acceptance remarks, Nikkel noted her desire to form a district advisory committee. “I can see them giving me help in a lot of different ways in terms of giving me their expertise and advice on various issues that affect them,” she said, “from their perspective and different parts of the district.”
Additionally, Nikkel plans town meetings across the horseshoe-shaped district of communities. “I want to travel all around the district just to get input from all the constituents from House District 49.”
In an interview afterwards, Nikkel noted her involvement in environmental issues. “I really am very interested in we Republicans talking more about environmental issues, as well as renewable and alternative energy issues because, as I’ve stated before, these are not partisan issues,” she said. “These are issues that as a Republican, I am very interested in.”
Nikkel emphasized she has enjoyed outdoor recreation for many years, especially in wilderness areas. And because of that, she feels “we need to be responsible in taking care of various areas that we have.”
Nikkel also said she will work with colleagues in and out of the legislature to plan out renewable energy strategies.
Among her committee assignments will be State, Military and Veterans Affairs, and Health and Human Services. In a recent press release, Nikkel also says she expects to be able to sponsor some late-session bills.
Nikkel was sworn in Thursday morning at the House Chambers before the House convenes for business.
<p>State House District 49’s new representative B.J. Nikkel thanked her colleague and opponent for the seat Ray Walter for his kindness and “great sense of humor.”</p>
<p>Larimer County Republican Chair Kirk Brush (left) and the State Republican Party’s Ryan Call certify the results of the balloting in Saturday’s vacancy committee election of B.J. Nikkel to SH Dist 49.</p>