Pitkin County Commissioner has ‘professional’ conversation with Rep. Boebert | New


Lauren Boebert speaks to supporters along the campaign trail last fall. The 3rd Congressional District Representative met with Pitkin County Commissioner Kelly McNicholas Kury last week to find common ground on local issues.

Just a day after Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert met with Pitkin County Democratic Commissioner Kelly McNicholas Kury last week in an effort to find common ground on Western Slope issues, the congresswoman presented articles of impeachment against President Joe Biden.

Boebert, along with his Chief of Staff Jeff Small, spoke to McNicholas Kury via Zoom last Thursday about less partisan issues such as wildfire mitigation and how to upgrade the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport .

Mcnicholas kury

Pitkin County Commissioner Kelly McNicholas Kury hugs his son at a BOCC meeting in 2019. Kury, a Democrat, and Boebert, a Republican, tried to build bridges last week, but in vain.

In an interview on Monday, McNicholas Kury described his roughly 30-minute conversation with Boebert last week as having been “professional” but not overly so.

“I’m interested in finding common ground with anyone, but there are so many things I don’t agree … philosophically and practically with the MP [on]”said McNicholas Kury.” Our conversation wasn’t… argumentative in any way. You know, we really chose to focus, I think, on the things that we would have a productive conversation on. “

One of those most productive talking points came when McNicholas Kury and Boebert discussed the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport and the extensive planning behind it.

The county recently received 75 applications from people wishing to serve on the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport Advisory Board, and McNicholas Kury hoped Boebert would ultimately support the county’s long-term vision for the airport and endorse it with of the Federal Aviation Administration.

While McNicholas Kury and Boebert discussed the future of the local airport, other notable priorities for the county – namely climate action initiatives – remained relatively little discussed.

Earlier this year, the BOCC announced its support for reducing Pitkin County’s annual emissions by 90% by 2050.

“I didn’t think there would be common ground,” McNicholas Kury said of why certain topics, like climate change, weren’t discussed.

McNicholas Kury was elected to the Pitkin County Commissioners Council in 2018 after running unopposed for the District 2 seat.

Boebert ousted five-term Congressman Scott Tipton in the 2020 GOP primary and then defeated former Colorado Democratic Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush in the general election.

Across the 3rd Congressional District – which spans the western slope of the state – Boebert received over 50% of the vote. However, in Pitkin County, less than 25% of the ballots were in favor of Boebert.

In all three maps released by the Colorado Independent Redistricting Commission, Pitkin County remained in the current Boebert District, CD3. The Independent Congressional Commission must file a redistribution plan with the Colorado Supreme Court by Oct. 1 for final review.

“I think Congressman Tipton was a little more pragmatic, but he also avoided Pitkin County,” McNicholas Kury said. “Pitkin County has never let our lack of progressive representation in Congress stop us from getting things done.”

According to McNicholas Kury, Boebert’s staff emailed him in mid-August to set up last Thursday’s meeting, and although the county commissioner for the first term enjoyed the dialogue with the first-time congressman year, what – if anything – will come out of their discussion remains to be seen.

In an interview on Monday, Boebert’s communications director Ben Stout called last week’s meeting between McNicholas Kury and Boebert “brilliant.”

“Congresswoman said…” As you all look at these kinds of upgrades and different options for the airport, there are grants available, and we would like to support where we can. “So they found common ground there,” Stout said. “They know they won’t always agree on all issues, but they’ve found some good things that they are on. ‘OK.”

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