Governor Mark Gordon Throws Support Behind Colorado County That Wants to


Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon shared his support for Weld County, a rural Colorado county home to nearly 324,000 residents, efforts to secede from the state and join Wyoming on Monday.”We would love that,” Gordon said during an interview with local Colorado radio station KOA NewsRadio. “From time to time states have said, ‘Gosh we like what Wyoming is doing’ and so we’d be happy.”Colorado Governor Jared Polis pushed back against Gordon’s support, saying Weld County residents are proud to be a part of his state.”Hands off Weld Country, Governor Mark Gordon,” Polis said in a Tuesday Facebook post. “Weld County is a thriving part of Colorado and Weld County residents are proud to be part of our great state.”The Colorado governor added: “I do hear from so many Cheyenne residents, on the other hand, that they are culturally, economically, and socially more connected to Colorado than Wyoming.”Cheyenne, home to over 63,000 residents, is the capital city of Wyoming located in the state’s southeastern corner near the northern border of Colorado. For nearly a decade, some residents of Weld County have pushed state and local officials to support their efforts to secede from Colorado and join Wyoming. They claim that Colorado doesn’t support the county’s best interests in regulations on oil and gas drilling, among other things. A Facebook group, named Weld County Wyoming, wants the issue to be put on the 2021 ballot in November. The effort, however, has made little progress over the years with the exception of support from Weld County commissioner and Colorado State Senator Vicki Marble in 2019. Marble openly supported the county’s efforts to secede amid her concerns that state lawmakers considered the needs of city residents over the needs of rural communities.”It is my way to let the people know I hear their concerns and that I am not shying away from their voice and that I acknowledge the serious consequences of bills and discussions we are having at the Capitol,” Marble told Colorado newspaper the Greeley Tribune at the time. Even if Weld County gained majority support from voters, It would be difficult for the county to actually secede. The motion would need to be approved by the Colorado state legislature and accepted by the Wyoming state legislature. It would then go to the U. S. Congress for final ratification. In an emailed statement to Newsweek on Thursday, Gordon’s Communications Director Michael Pearlman said, “the governor was accepting a compliment about Wyoming,” on KOA NewsRadio’s Monday broadcast and is “flattered that a county in an adjoining state appreciates what we have to offer.””The fact of the matter is that any endeavor like this is virtually impossible. Wyoming prides itself on being welcoming to all,” Pearlman added. Newsweek reached out to Polis’ office, but didn’t hear back in time for publication.

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